President Bush vetoed Schip again, on January 23, saying in a statement to Congress that the bill was unacceptable because like the first one, which he also vetoed, it allows adults into the program, and would cover people in families with incomes above the U.S. median and would raise taxes.
“This bill does not put poor children first, and it moves our country’s healthcare 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. Congress responded by approving enough money to fund the program though March 2009.
As predicted, House Democrats failed once more to over-ride his veto. In a vote of 260 to 152, the House on January 23 was 15 votes short of the two-thirds majority of members voting, necessary to over-ride Bush’s December 12 veto. Forty two Republicans supported the over-ride attempt, two fewer than in the previous effort to reject Bush’s Oct 3, veto.
Congressional leaders have not given up efforts to expand the program substantially. For American kids seriously in need of the care SCHIP would provide, Bush’s veto was like getting a lump of coal for Christmas. Bush is happily dumping billions of dollars into Iraq every month, but when Congress tries to strengthen our nation’s safety net for children-look out here comes the veto pen. Wednesday’s action is just another reminder that the right wing doesn’t care about the common good. They don’t want government to take care of those most in need, let alone provide a universal healthcare system that covers everyone.
Daniel Downs in the January 24 issue of the American Chronicle states the right wing arguments clearly: ” In previous articles, I have explained why the State Children’s Health Insurance Program reauthorization bill [H.R. 3938] was vetoed by Bush; how it is a step towards creating universal healthcare; how it ceases to serve poor families and their children ; how it creates a middle class welfare program for families who already have health insurance; and worst of all, how it taxes the poor to pay for the middle welfare program.”
Christopher Lee, Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, January 24, 2008; Page AO4
Kenneth Briggs, OpEdNews December 13, 2007
Daniel Downs, American Chronicle, January 24, 2008