Wednesday, October 03, 2007

this from cnn. it's just shameful.

Bush vetoes expansion of kids' health insurance program
President Bush on Wednesday vetoed legislation expanding a children's health insurance program by $35 billion over five years.

President Bush says he vetoed the SCHIP bill because it was a step toward "federalizing" medicine.

Bush exercised the veto at 10 a.m. ET before leaving the White House for a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to discuss the federal budget and taxes.

Speaking in Pennsylvania, Bush said he vetoed the bill because it was a step toward "federalizing" medicine and inappropriately expanded the program beyond its focus on helping poor children.

"I believe in private medicine, not the federal government running the health care system. I do want Republicans and Democrats to come together to support a bill that focuses on the poorer children," the president said, adding the government's policy should be to help people find private insurance.Video Watch Bush explain his veto

Democrats quickly took to the floors of the Senate and House of Representatives to condemn the veto of the bill that received bipartisan support.

"I think that this is probably the most inexplicable veto in the history of the country. It is incomprehensible. It is intolerable. It's unacceptable," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, who pleaded with Republicans to help overturn the veto.

Congress sent the legislation on the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, to the White House on Tuesday after the Senate voted 67-29 last week to expand the program.

It appears Congress lacks the votes to overturn Bush's veto. Though 67 votes in the 100-person Senate would suffice to override a veto, the 265-159 House vote on September 25 is short of the two-thirds majority needed. View Bush's and previous presidents' veto records

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would try to get the 15 additional Republican votes she said she needed to overturn Bush's veto, noting that "2-to-1 Republican voters support SCHIP and oppose the president's veto."

"It's very sad that the president has chosen to veto a bill that would provide health care to 10 million American children for the next five years. It is a value that is shared by the American people across the board," Pelosi said.

House Democrats also were quick to compare the bill's $7 billion annual cost to the money spent each month on the Iraq war.

"The president and Republicans in Congress say that we can't afford this bill, but where were the fiscal conservatives when the president demanded hundreds of billions of dollars for the war in Iraq?" asked Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois.

Some House Republicans, however, said Bush was right to veto the bill.

"The public can see that we're playing more political 'gotcha' than we are at really solving problems," said Rep. Todd Akin, R-Missouri, who said the legislation contained "all of these little hidden gizmos, among other things that we're going to provide health care to the children of illegal immigrants."

Akin also said the bill would have led to "a massive expansion of, basically, 'Hillary' socialized medicine," a reference to Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and her unsuccessful health care efforts as first lady in the 1990s.

Democrats denied the bill would provide coverage to illegal immigrants.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said Tuesday that he won't schedule an override vote on SCHIP until next week or later. There is no time limit in the House on when to bring the bill up again.

Under the legislation, the program would double -- from 4 million to 8 million -- the number of children covered.

In the Senate, 18 Republicans joined all of the Democrats in voting to expand the program from its annual budget of $5 billion to $12 billion for the next five years.

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah was among those Republicans who split from the president. "It's very difficult for me to be against a man I care so much for," he told his colleagues on the Senate floor before the vote. "It's unfortunate that the president has chosen to be on what, to me, is clearly the wrong side of this issue."

A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted September 27-30 found 72 percent of those surveyed support an increase in spending on the program, with 25 percent opposed. The poll's margin of error was 3 percentage points.

Bush and many Republicans contend the program's original intent would be changed under the bill.

The program gives coverage to parents who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy private insurance for their children. Critics have said their concern is that parents might be prompted to drop private coverage for their children to get cheaper coverage under the bill.

The veto is the fourth of Bush's presidency. After not using his veto power at all during his first four years, the president has vetoed three other bills in his second term: two on stem-cell research legislation and one on a war funding bill with a Democratic timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's clear that Bush has no concern for the poor people of this country. All i can say about Mr Bush is GOD have mercy on his soul.