Health Care: With a program intended to help poorer children get insurance, Democrats want to expand it to those who can afford their own insurance and illegal aliens. So much for fiscal responsibility and immigration reform.

We all remember HillaryCare, the fortunately unsuccessful attempt to nationalize the U.S. health care system and turn it over to an American politburo only a Michael Moore could applaud.

It failed, but the liberal dream of bribing people with their own money, destroying private health care and increasing dependence on government lives on.

A decade ago, the Republican Congress thought it had found a way to deal with the high cost of quality health care when it created the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

It was intended to help provide coverage to children in families up to twice the poverty level, families who made too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Today, that would be $40,000 for a family of four.

SCHIP expires in September and would have to be reauthorized. With the public purse back in their hands, Democrats want to expand SCHIP's breadth and reach to include those who can afford private insurance for their children and those who have entered this country illegally.

They know that with the help of a willing media they can cast any GOP resistance to their plan as "anti-children" and "anti-immigrant."

Their Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act, or CHAMP, would triple annual funding of SCHIP to $15 billion by 2012 and expand its coverage to include children from families that make up to $83,000 a year.

Worse yet, they would effectively repeal the federal law that bars people who are in this country illegally from receiving federal benefits.

Section 143 of the legislation would give the states the option of requiring proof of citizenship for enrollment in the program.

It will be touted as an act of compassion providing care to those who need it, but in reality it will be a huge carrot to illegal immigration, which in many border states has brought the health care system to the breaking point.

Adding in the children of illegal aliens would compound the impact of the Democrats' plan, which would extend coverage to 70 percent of America's children.

This expansion of SCHIP will allow children who currently have private health insurance to opt for the federally subsidized program.

The Department of Health and Human Services conservatively estimates that the expanded SCHIP will cause 1.6 million people to drop their private coverage and let the federal treasury pick up the tab.

The Congressional Budget Office puts the number at 2 million. Either way, it's a government program that damages the private sector -- a Democrat's dream.

If the problem is the high cost of health care and uninsured children, there are private-sector solutions that the Democrats are ignoring.

They could push for the end of costly one-size-fits-all mandates that drive up premiums.

Congress could lift the ban on shopping nationally and let health care consumers shop across state lines for the best deal they can get.

A proposal by Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would do just that.

Their plan would create a universal health care tax credit capped at $2,000 and $5,000 for families that, in a truly competitive market, would allow all Americans to shop for health insurance, free from the government dole.

CHAMP is nothing more than HillaryCare by stealth.

As Hillary Clinton once said, it takes a village to raise a child. Now the Democrats seem to be willing to misuse children to mislead, and bankrupt, the village.