Kid's Health at Risk by Liora Leah .....

ACT NOW! President Bush threatens to veto bipartisan legislation that calls for renewed and expanded funding for low-income children's health insurance. ACT NOW by CALLING your U.S. Senators and U.S Representatives to support SCHIP and override a Presidential veto!

Date:   9/25/2007 6:25:39 PM ( 14 y ago)


Call your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative, urging them to support the current SCHIP Legislation (State Children's Health Insurance Program) and to override a threatened presidential veto.  DO IT TODAY!

to find contact information for your  U.S. Senator:

to find contact information for your U.S. Representative:

Thank you for supporting healthy kids!


Bipartisan support mounts for SCHIP expansion
Bush threatens to veto expansion of State Children's Health Insurance Program

by Jake Tapper and Z. Byron Wolf
Sept. 25, 2007
ABC NEWS online:

White House officials claim they thought the president's showdown with Congress over further funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, would be a policy debate over expanding a government program.

Instead, with bipartisan support mounting for a compromise bill, in rhetoric and media coverage the SCHIP debate has become a fight over whether the president cares about sick kids.

The president has threatened to veto an expansion of the program from its current $25 billion level to $60 billion over five years, saying it would cost too much money, unnecessarily cover citizens who can afford private insurance, and increase taxes on "working people." Last week, President Bush cast the debate as "a philosophical divide that exists in Washington over the best approach for health care. Democratic leaders in Congress want to put more power in the hands of government by expanding federal health care programs. … I have a different view."

But Democrats made sure not to cast this divide in terms of anything other than whether or not one thinks ailing children should be cared for.

Pelosi: 'Suffer the Children'

At a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stood with Jemma Frost, a 9-year-old girl whose recovery from a traumatic brain injury sustained in a carCHILaccident was due to funding from this program. Gemma is a "living example of the importance of SCHIP," Pelosi said. "Gemma, we want you to be healthy and happy and successful. That's why we are doing this."

"Mr. President, please don't veto this bill," Pelosi said to the assembled media. "Please don't give new meaning to the phrase 'suffer the little children.'"

Pelosi was referring to a passage in the New Testament Book of Mark in which Jesus admonishes his disciplines for turning away parents who want the son of God to bless their children. "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not," Jesus said, "for of such is the kingdom of God."

Bush has called for a five-year, $5 billion increase in SCHIP, which covers the children of low-income families not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid but not wealthy enough to afford private health insurance. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed a $50 billion increase; last month the Senate -- with a veto-proof majority of 68 votes -- passed a $35 billion increase.

The compromise coming before the House and Senate this week would cost $35 billion, and according to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, many of the provisions the president objected to -- the possible use of SCHIP to cover adults, for instance -- have been removed.

The program would be paid for by an increase in tobacco taxes -- 61 cents a pack for cigarettes, 16 cents per cigar -- a debt largely footed by lower-income people who smoke disproportionately.

President Makes Questionable Claims

Bush has said that the compromise bill "would result in taking a program meant to help poor children and turning it into one that covers children in households with incomes of up to $83,000 a year."

The program, created under a Republican Congress, is actually not intended to help "poor children," but rather those just above the poverty line.

As for the president's speculation that families making $83,000 would be covered, the nonpartisan stated that claim is false, noting new guidelines from the Center on Medicare and Medicaid Services making it "quite difficult" for any state to raise its eligibility for SCHIP recipients for those making more than 250 percent of the federal poverty level, $51,625 for a family of four.

The quibbling over $30 billion has also allowed Democrats to attack the price of the Iraq War, which to date has cost close to a trillion dollars. Tuesday the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill, noted that the White House threatened to veto the compromise at the same time it is requesting an additional $200 billion in funding for the Iraq War.

"Two hundred billion dollars more for Iraq -- and $35 billion for kids is labeled excessive spending?" Emanuel asked. "Forty-one days of war would give all 10 million children health care," Emanuel argued. "This is not a matter of spending, it's a matter of priorities."



Call your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative, urging them to support the current SCHIP Legislation (State Children's Health Insurance Program) and to override a threatened presidential veto.  DO IT TODAY!

to find contact information for your  U.S. Senator:

to find contact information for your U.S. Representative:

Thank you for supporting healthy kids!



Sometimes, the American people demand that Congress and the Administration enact initiatives to address fundamental national needs. During the Depression, we enacted Social Security to see that seniors could live their later years with dignity. In the 1940’s, we opened the doors of education for returning veterans through the G.I. Bill. In the 1960’s, we took action to see that seniors had quality health care, and the result was Medicare. In the 1990’s, Democrats and Republicans, Congress and the Administration, states and the federal government all worked together to help alleviate the crisis in children’s health by enacting CHIP. The success of each of these programs has echoed through the decades in the lives of millions of Americans.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is based on one simple and powerful idea – that all children deserve a healthy start in life, and that no parents should have to worry about whether they can afford to take their children to the doctor when they are sick. CHIP can make thedifference between a child starting life burdened with disease – or a child who is healthy and ready to learn and grow.

That is why CHIP has always enjoyed bipartisan support...I was proud to work closely with Senator Hatch to create the national Children’s Health Insurance Program. When CHIP went into effect across the country, among its greatest champions were Republican Governors who understood the importance of expanding health insurance for children in their states. Governor Leavitt in Utah andGovernor Cellucci in Massachusetts were both champions of CHIP when they were governors.

The question for President Bush today is why he would even consider rejecting a program that has long brought Republicans and Democrats together to help children.

CHIP allows parents to choose insurance for their son or daughter from a private insurance company. That is one reason why Republicans have long supported the CHIP program. Indeed, CHIP uses the same private insurance model that President Bush supported in creating the Medicare prescription drug benefit...

President Bush has argued that CHIP costs too much. But I will tell you what costs more: treating children in emergency rooms after their conditions have become severe. CHIP saves money -- and untold suffering -- by getting health care to our nation’s children before they are seriously ill.

CHIP is paid for by an increased tax on cigarettes -- not by raiding the treasury. That tax will itself save us countless dollars and lives by discouraging smoking. The case for CHIP is stronger than ever. Today, six million children are enrolled in the program – children who otherwise would be without health care.

But another 9 million children in America still have no health insurance at all.

And once again, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have come together for the common good. CHIP’s success is impressive. Since CHIP began, the percentage of uninsured for children has gone down even as more and more adults are losing their own insurance coverage, because employers reduce it or drop it entirely.

In the past decade, the percentage of uninsured children has dropped from almost 23 percent in 1997 to 14 percent in 2005. That reduction is significant, but it’s obviously far from enough.

Recently, the Census Bureau reported that in the past year 600,000 more children have become uninsured. The struggling economy is causing employers to drop family coverage and even the robust and successful CHIP program hasn’t been able to stave off decreasing coverage for children.

CHIP helps to improve children’s school performance. When children are receiving the health care they need, they do better academically, emotionally, physically and socially. And CHIP all but eliminates the distressing racial and ethnic health disparities for the minority children who disproportionately depend on it for their coverage. That’s why organizations representing children, or the health care professionals who serve them, agree that preserving and strengthening CHIP is essential to children’s health.

...Today, we renew our bipartisan commitment to the job begun by Congress ten years ago, and to make sure that the lifeline of CHIP is strengthened and extended to many more children.

Only the Bush Administration seems content with the inadequate status quo.

First, the President proposed a plan for CHIP doesn’t provide what’s needed to cover children who are eligible but unenrolled. In fact, the President’s proposal is $8 billion less than what’s needed simply to keep children now enrolled in CHIP from losing their current coverage—$8 billion short.

Then, as Congress was negotiating the CHIP bill, the Administration issued a new guidance that would make it virtually impossible for states to expand coverage to children in their state with household incomes above 250% of the federal poverty level. This would cause 18 states and the District of Columbia to drop children from coverage. And what is most baffling is that the President has consistently threatened to veto this bill.

...The CHIP bill before us this week is genuine bipartisan agreement that will help children in communities across the nation. It provides coverage to about 4 million children who would otherwise be uninsured.

This bill moves us forward together, Republicans and Democrats alike, to guarantee the children of America the health care they need and deserve. Quality health for children isn't just an interesting option or a nice idea. It's not just something we wish we could do. It's an obligation. It's something we have to do.

And it’s something we can do today. I urge my colleagues to vote for this bill.




Call your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative, urging them to support the current SCHIP Legislation (State Children's Health Insurance Program) and to override a threatened presidential veto.  DO IT TODAY!

to find contact information for your  U.S. Senator:

to find contact information for your U.S. Representative:

Thank you for supporting healthy kids!


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