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The President Vetoes Child Health Insurance (SCHIP) Reauthorization

Armen Hareyan's picture

SCHIP Health Insurance Veto

Bush has vetoed a bill that would expand a popular government-run health insurance program for children called SCHIP.

The SCHIP Health Insurance veto is only the fourth during the president's nearly seven years in office and sets up a showdown with Congress, which overwhelmingly supported the bill.

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Mr. Bush has said the measure is "irresponsible" and "would dramatically expand the (children's health insurance) program beyond its original intent."

The Democratic Party-controlled Congress approved S-CHIP expanding the program by $35 billion over five years. Under the measure, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) would provide health coverage for about 10 million children in low-income families not able to afford private insurance but earning too much to qualify for federal programs.

The children's health insurance bill calls for the federal tax on cigarettes to be raised 61 cents, to $1 a pack, to help pay for the expansion. The measure is supported by both Democrats and members of Mr. Bush's Republican party, but it is not clear if it enjoys enough support to override the president's veto.

At least four million children are currently