Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bush vetos child health insurance

Well, this isn't surprising. From MSNBC News:

WASHINGTON - President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.

It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., decried Bush's action as a "heartless veto."

"Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people," Reid said in a statement. "By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children's Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America. "

The White House sought as little attention, with Bush casting his veto behind closed doors without any fanfare or news coverage. He was discussing it later Wednesday during a budget speech in Lancaster, Pa.

It is ironic that President Bush is casting his veto on this children's health insurance bill behind closed doors and without any media coverage. Bush probably knows he is going against both the will of the American people, and the strong bipartisan support in Congress. The Senate passed the State Children's Health Insurance Program well above the veto override by a vote of 67-29. But it was a different story in the House. The House passed the children's health insurance bill by a vote of 265 to 159--that is 25 votes short of a presidential veto override. So the House is assuring that Bush's veto stays.

But let's get back to the Bush administration. According to the MSNBC News story:

The president had promised to veto it, saying the Democratic bill was too costly, took the program too far from its original intent of helping the poor, and would entice people now covered in the private sector to switch to government coverage. He wants only a $5 billion increase in funding.

Bush argued that the congressional plan would be a move toward socialized medicine by expanding the program to higher-income families.

We're back to the same, stale arguments this administration makes for its failed policies. The $30 billion child's health insurance program is too costly. Of course, the Bush administration is asking Congress for $190 billion to fund the Iraq war--a request that most Americans are opposed to. According to this October 2, 2007 Washington Post poll on the $190 billion Bush war funding and SCHIP program:

There is broader public agreement on how Congress should approach war funding. About a quarter of adults want Congress to fund fully the administration's $190 billion request; seven in 10 want the proposed allocation reduced, with 46 percent wanting it cut sharply or entirely. About seven in 10 independents want Congress to cut back funds allocated for the war effort, as do nearly nine in 10 Democrats; 46 percent of Republicans agree.


Bush and the Republicans may also be headed for a political setback from the fight over the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), even if Congress does not override Bush's threatened veto.

More than seven in 10 in the poll support the planned $35 billion spending increase, and 25 percent are opposed. About half of all Americans "strongly" support the increased spending; 17 percent are firmly against the additional funds. Eighty-one percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents and 61 percent of Republicans are in favor.

President Bush is completely out of touch with the American public. A clear majority of Americans want type of cut in the Bush war funding--be it slightly reduced, cut sharply or entirely. At the same time, 70 percent of Americans support the SCHIP expansion program, with clear majorities among Democrats, independents, and Republicans. President Bush claims that the SCHIP program is a back door towards creating socialized medicine. And yet, a clear majority of 63 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Bush is handling health care. In fact, among several different public opinion polls, a majority of Americans approve of some form of federal control over health insurance, or the providing of health care, for American citizens. So while Bush is railing about the dangers of socialized medicine, the American public seems to be warming up to that idea.

The final conclusion here is that President Bush is completely out of touch with the wishes of the American people. He is going to do whatever he damn well pleases, and the hell with everyone else. For the next 14 months, we're dealing with a childish, tin-pot dictator here, who will lead this country into ruin for his own selfishness.

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