Posted by: Tony Carson | 7 October, 2007

Bush v. Children: understanding SCHIP

This, from The Nation, is a succinct explanation of the issue:

Bush v. Children

Peter Rothberg

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program was created by the federal government in 1997 to provide medical insurance coverage for children of families with annual incomes too large to qualify for Medicaid but too small to afford private insurance. The legislation currently insures more than six million children who would otherwise lack coverage. An individual is eligible until age 18 if his or her family income is above Medicaid thresholds but below a total income of $41,300 for a family of four.

The original legislation expired on September 30 and required reauthorization. The Senate and House quickly agreed on a compromise to continue SCHIP by large margins as well as to increase funding to enhance the efficacy of the program.

As promised, President Bush vetoed the legislation Wednesday, calling the proposal fiscally irresponsible and an attempt to “federalize medicine.” This from a president who has been one of the most profligate spenders in history. The fact is that this veto is yet another example of his administration’s never-ending efforts to ignore the truth for the sake of promoting misguided ideological principles.

SCHIP has been successful. Enrollees in SCHIP have been demonstrated to have improved access to higher quality health care. But facts didn’t matter enough to Bush as he killed a bipartisan bill. However facts should matter to members of Congress who have the power to override his veto, as a very good editorial in the October 6 Kansas City Star argued. The main point is that “the chronically underfunded 10-year-old SCHIP has made remarkable inroads. It has reduced by a third the uninsurance rate of low-income children whose families don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford private insurance.” As the editorial concludes, “President Bush’s veto should not stand. Lawmakers who voted ‘no’ should reconsider and help override it. If they use the facts as a guide, they will.”

Bush is expecting House conservatives to sustain his veto. But significant political pressure–if not reason and morality–can undermine his hopes. Kids might have something to say about it too, as a new video produced by the Campaign for America’s Future makes amusingly clear. Watch the video below and click here to learn the facts about SCHIP.

Then, go to CAF’s action page and send a message to your Representative in the House imploring him/her to stand up for our kids, stand up to George Bush, and override the veto.



  1. I can’t believe Bush doesn’t like children. I mean . . . they’re like his “kind.” I thought they understood each other.

  2. I was so angry when I heard about this veto. The purported reasoning is because it goes “too far in federalizing health care.” So it comes down to that he is stating that only the wealthy deserve their children to grow up healthy. There are some things that NEED to be federalized! We pay taxes for something, dangit, and it sure shouldn’t be my congressman’s new Lexus! Bush only likes the children of the normal classes when they are fetuses. He vetoed this to make a political statement, regardless of the effect of it. What is that but pure activism? Whodathunkit, we have an activist president, for all his lambasting of the judges who were just trying to make some peoples’ lives easier through their so called activism, he uses his own to make some peoples’ lives more difficult.

  3. I hate how the media and politicians distort the truth. I am for increasing health care coverage for impoverished children however, do a google search for SCHIP section 651 and you will understand the truth. This bill was riddled with sneaky little sections like this that eradicate competition in the health care industry. As a health care professional I’m outraged.

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