Monday, September 24, 2007

Congress Confronts Bush on Children's Health Care

Congressional Democrats and even some Republicans expressed anger last week over President Bush's threat to veto a bill that would fund the State Children's health insurance program, or S-CHIP, for another five years.

The Washington Post reported that Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Gordon Smith responded by promising to vote to override any veto. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who was a co-sponsor of the bill, described Bush's veto threat as not "constructive."

The bill that would expand the popular SCHIP program passed in the US Senate with 68 votes back in July.

In fact, most state governors of both parties support expansion of the program. Few state legislators of either party have called for a veto. This bill, while not adequate to stem the health care crisis in which, according to a study released by Families USA, saw almost 90 million people without health care coverage in 2005 and 2006, is a good first step .

Children's health should transcend partisan lines.

For his part, President Bush accused both Republicans and Democrats of passing the children's health insurance program bill to "score political points." Imagine that. Making sure children can go to the doctor and the dentist is a political ploy.

After Bush led his congressional Republican allies into the political wilderness of Iraq, he is now demanding they toe his line on children's health care.

The program expires on September 30th.

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