President Bush Renews Veto Threat Of SCHIP Expansion

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State Children's Health Insurance Program

President Bush on Wednesday restated his intention to veto legislation that would reauthorize and expand SCHIP, McClatchy/Contra Costa Times reports (Hall, McClatchy/Contra Costa Times,8/9). Senate legislation, approved last week, would reauthorize SCHIPand increase the federal cigarette tax by 61 cents per pack to boostfunding for the program by $35 billion over five years. The Houseversion, also approved last week, would reduce payments to MedicareAdvantage plans and increase the federal cigarette tax by 45 cents perpack to increase funding for SCHIP by $50 billion over five years. TheHouse bill also would make a number of revisions to Medicare (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 8/6).

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Bushhas proposed a $5 billion increase over five years for SCHIP, whichwould raise the program's total five-year funding to $30 billion (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report,7/31). Bush in an interview said, "If SCHIP is used to expand thenationalization of health care, I will veto it." The House and Senateversions must be reconciled before Bush can veto the measure (McClatchy/Contra Costa Times, 8/9).

Opinion Piece, Editorial

  • Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), Philadelphia Daily News:Bush "has a choice" to "follow through with his callous threat to veto"SCHIP legislation, "compromising the health care of millions ofchildren, or he can recognize that Congress is responding with acommon-sense solution to meet the concerns of American families,"Schwartz writes in a Daily News opinion piece (Schwartz, Philadelphia Daily News, 8/9).
  • Wall Street Journal:The "good news" in the debate over SCHIP "is that the House legislationis so egregious that it barely passed 225-204, and ... Bush haspromised to veto a major expansion of the SCHIP program," according toa Journal editorial. It concludes, "Democrats think theyhave a political winner in the guise of helping 'children,' but theHouse bill shows that their higher priority is expanding government" (Wall Street Journal, 8/9).

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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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