Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Shrub Still Hates Children

Having already vetoed one SCHIP bill, shrub is sticking to his guns (for Iraq):

President Bush on Wednesday was ready to veto legislation that passed with bipartisan support to dramatically expand government-provided health insurance for children.

It would be Bush's seventh veto in seven years. Bush vetoed an earlier version of the health insurance 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 on a compromise version.

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 those in slightly higher-income families could be covered.

Bush 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.

The replacement measure was designed to meet Republican objections to the first bill. But it was little changed.

It would increase funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over five years, in order to add an estimated 4 million people to an existing 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.

Bush's veto in early October of a similar bill was narrowly upheld by the House.;_ylt=Atb0B6CJaqETxrNT4I8p4fgGw_IE

Here's hoping that congress can find the spine to override, what with an election year ahead.

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