Editorials Address Veto Of SCHIP Expansion Bill

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State Children's Health Insurance Program

Summaries of several recent editorials and an opinion piece that examine the recent presidential veto of a bill to reauthorize and expand SCHIP and the failed attempt by the House to override the veto appear below.

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Editorials

  • Birmingham News:The small margin of the failed override vote indicated the importanceof the "votes of Alabama's five Republican House members," according toa News editorial. The lawmakers, who voted against theoverride, decided to "overlook the obvious need of poor children andside with the president on an issue in which he is wrong," theeditorial states, adding, "Alabama's congressmen should think hardabout what's more important: Protecting the health of children orprotecting the veto of a misguided president" (Birmingham News, 10/18).
  • Charlotte Observer:White House press secretary Dana Perino "proudly claimed afterThursday's vote that 'we won this round on SCHIP,'" and her "words echothe shameful gamesmanship at work on this issue," according to an Observereditorial. The editorial states, "It's time to stop playing politics,"adding, "The president's advisers say they want to find common groundwith Congress on this matter. Given that the vetoed bill wasbipartisan, they don't have to look far." The editorial concludes, "Weurge them to get to work today" (Charlotte Observer, 10/19).
  • Detroit News:SCHIP "should be reinstated with an appropriate level of funding andfocused on the children of the working poor" because the cost of theprogram, which totaled $922 million in 1999, "has been rising eversince," according to a News editorial. The editorialstates, "Now that the U.S. House has failed to override PresidentGeorge W. Bush's veto of its expansion of a child health insuranceprogram, Congress should redraft more affordable legislation andreinstate the program." The editorial adds that the "opportunity now isto retool a useful program at an affordable cost" (Detroit News, 10/19).
  • Louisville Courier-Journal:"Every time you hear Republicans brag about being the party of fiscalrestraint and family values, remember what they really mean: They'lllavish money on the machinery of war but won't do what's necessary tomake sure that hard-pressed American families can meet basic needs likehealth care," according to a Courier-Journal editorial.The editorial states, "There is nothing compassionate about this kindof conservatism. It's brutal abroad, and it brutalizes those who areworking hard right here at home just to survive on the financialmargin" (Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/18).
  • Orlando Sentinel:Congress can continue to fund SCHIP at "current levels until nextyear's election breaks the logjam," but that "means that nine millionAmerican children will continue to go without health insurance untilthen," which is "unnecessary" and "not right," a Sentineleditorial states. According to the editorial, "Now it's time forleaders to step up and forge a compromise," provided that "much morecompromising is even possible" (Orlando Sentinel, 10/19).
  • Santa Fe New Mexican:"The health bill that went to the president for signature was acarefully crafted compromise, a bipartisan approach broadly supportedby Republicans and Democrats," according to a New Mexicaneditorial. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), who seeks the open Senate seatin New Mexico, should consider "his political future" and "think of thechildren and decide whether he sides with sick kids or President Bush,"adding, "Either way, Pearce will be explaining his vote for months tocome" (Santa Fe New Mexican, 10/18).
  • Springfield Republican:The "White House and its allies will trumpet their victory against arush toward government-run health insurance" because of the failedoverride vote, according to a Republican editorial. "Wecan only hope that they get it out of their system relatively quicklyso that those on all sides of the issue can get to work on crafting anew bill that the White House can gladly sign into law," the editorialstates, adding, "Lawmakers should sit down and work on forging a newbill that can either get the president's signature -- or that canmuster the votes to override another veto" (Springfield Republican, 10/18).

Opinion Piece

  • Michael Cannon, Dallas Morning News:"SCHIP supporters are using their self-professed compassion forchildren as a bludgeon to suppress perfectly reasonable questions,"Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, writes in a Morning Newsopinion piece. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) "would have usbelieve that, if we care about children's health, we must supportSCHIP," but that is "little different than the GOP claim, 'If yousupport the troops, you must support the war,'" Cannon writes, adding,"Both remarks are intended to cut off debate before people start askingcrucial questions" (Cannon, Dallas Morning News, 10/18).

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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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