Thursday, October 18, 2007


House Republicans were able to maintain Bush's SCHIP veto. The Democratic bill for SCHIP is dead.

It's over: The House just voted on the SCHIP bill moments ago, and failed to override President Bush's veto.

The vote was 273-156, falling short of the two-thirds vote needed to overturn Bush's veto.

The roll call is here.

SCHIP is designed for children whose parents too much to qualify for Medicare. 6.6 million children received SCRIP coverage in 2006. Which is what made the Graeme Frost attacks so misleading.

This is how damaging the Bush veto is.

Keeping the program at current levels would require expanding funding by about $13.4 billion over five years, for total funding of $38.4 billion between 2008 to 2012, according to a CBO report in May. Part of the reason is rising medical costs. President Bush has proposed a $5 billion expansion, for total program funding of $30 billion over the next five years. He has said he might be willing to go higher. The bill Bush vetoed would increase funding by $35 billion over the five years, for a program total of $60 billion. Ultimately, it would cover 10 million people.

The budget increase wasn't huge liberal expansion. Healthcare costs have rapidly increased. The Democratic bill is $3 million less than what is needed to maintain SCHIP. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) said powerful words about the Republican hypocrisy on spending.

"Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war? You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

Republicans seized on the opportunity to pounce on Stark.

The National Republican Congressional Committee issued this release in response to Stark's comment today: "Pete Stark and the Democrat leadership owe the American people an apology, the troops and their families an apology, and they should apologize to the millions of children being held political hostage by their party’s desperate attempt to score a political victory instead of providing healthcare for those who need it most."

Stark's home state will be gravely affected by Congress's failure to override the veto. The California Primary Care Association issued a statement.

"California’s Healthy Families program could run out of money next year and be forced to disenroll hundreds of thousands of children," said Carmela Castellano-Garcia, president and CEO of CPCA.

The Harvard School of Public Health, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and National Public Radio conducted a surcey and found two out of three Americans are against Bush's veto.

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 77 percent of voters favor reauthorizing at a $39 million price tag. This was political suicide for Republicans. That didn't stop Congressional GOP members from following Bush off the cliff.

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