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Bush Vetoes Kids Health Insurance Bill (Again)

Health & Wellness  (tags: children, healthcare, illness, prevention, Bush, veto )

- 3870 days ago -
WASHINGTON--President Bush vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have expanded government-provided health insurance for children, his second slap-down of a bipartisan effort in Congress to dramatically increase funding for the popular program.

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David Petrosky (113)
Wednesday December 12, 2007, 3:37 pm
WASHINGTON—President Bush vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have expanded government-provided health insurance for children, his second slap-down of a bipartisan effort in Congress to dramatically increase funding for the popular program.
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It was Bush's seventh veto in seven years -- all but one coming since Democrats took control of Congress in January. Wednesday was the deadline for Bush to act or let the bill become law. The president also vetoed an earlier, similar bill expanding the health insurance program.

Bush vetoed the bill in private.

In a statement notifying Congress of his decision, Bush said the bill was unacceptable because -- like the first one -- it allows adults into the program, would cover people in families with incomes above the U.S. median and raises taxes.

"This bill does not put poor children first, and it moves our country's health care system in the wrong direction," Bush's statement said. "Ultimately, our nation's goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage, not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage."

Bush urged Congress to extend the program at its current funding level before lawmakers leave Washington for their holiday break.

In fact, congressional leaders had already said earlier Wednesday that they now will try only to extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, well into 2008 in basically its current form. Their comments signaled that they have given up efforts to substantially expand the program.

The bill passed the Democratic-controlled Senate by a veto-proof margin, but the same was not true in the House. Even after the bill was approved, negotiations continued to find a compromise version that would attract enough Republican lawmakers to override Bush's expected veto. A two-thirds vote in both chambers is required to override a presidential veto.

But that effort was unsuccessful.

The bill Bush vetoed would have increased federal funding for SCHIP by $35 billion over five years, to add an estimated 4 million people to the program that provides insurance coverage for children from families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance. The joint federal-state program currently provides benefits to roughly 6 million people, mostly children.

A major point of contention with the White House was Bush's demand that nearly all poor children eligible for the program be found and enrolled before any in slightly higher-income families could be covered. He originally proposed adding $5 billion to the program over five years but later said he was willing to go higher as long as his conditions were met.

The president also has opposed using an increased tobacco tax to fund the program expansion. The bill includes a 61-cent rise on a package of cigarettes


Kim Szabo (53)
Wednesday December 12, 2007, 3:48 pm
bush isn't out here trying to take care his sick child with no fancy medical coverage. these politicians need to come down to the real folks level of life. they go out and shake hands, smile, kiss babies and then turn around and stab us in the back. maybe we should send the medical bills to president bush since he doesn't want to help us. i smoke and be glad to pay to cig tax increase if the children can be taken care of. we have a choice to smoke or not these kids don't have the choice of gettiing sick or not just as do any of us. it happens. wake up capitol hill!

. (0)
Wednesday December 12, 2007, 9:47 pm
Maybe now congress will actually re-write the bill and make it for children without insurance instead of for adults, illegal aliens and those that can afford insurance. They need to quit challenging the president and pass a bill that does what it is suppose to do and get rid of the billions in port that are attached to it that have nothing to do with children’s health care.

Fred Hoekstra (6772)
Thursday February 21, 2008, 12:26 pm
Ralph, I agree with you entirely.....I wonder why it is that people don't realize that a Bill to provide Medical Insurance for needy children, should be just that. Why take away part of their benefits to cover adults and illegal immigrants? I have no problem with people who come to our country to work, to go to school or who want to become American Citizens.....As long as they do it legally.

In regards to the type of Medical Insurance to provide children and all other Americans who are not covered. There is only one Medical Plan that is right for Americans.....The same plan that our elected representatives are enjoying right now! It is time that that same coverage is available to ALL Americans and that our representatives pay their fair share of Premiums, Deductibles and Co-Pays.....
Wouldn't you agree folks?
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