December 12, 2007
Democratic-Led Congress Will Continue to Fight for A Children’s Health Bill That Covers 10 Million Children
With His Second Veto of A Children’s Health Bill Today, President Bush Is Once Again Denying Health Coverage to 10 Million Children
• It is reported that later today, President Bush will issue his second veto of a bill that would provide 10 million low-income American children health care coverage.
• On October 3, the President vetoed the first Children’s Health bill (H.R. 976) – thereby denying 10 million children health care.
• Today, the President is vetoing the second Children’s Health bill (H.R. 3963), which also ensures health care coverage for 10 million children.
• This second bill was revised to meet several concerns raised by the President and the House GOP leadership – including enrolling lower-income children first and ensuring benefits are denied to illegal immigrants. The bill passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 265 to 142, with 43 Republicans voting for it, and passed the Senate by a veto-proof margin of 64 to 30, with 17 Republicans voting for it. And yet the President is still vetoing the bill.
• Since H.R. 3963 was passed by the House on October 25, both Democratic and Republican supporters of a strong bipartisan CHIP bill have been holding numerous meetings with some House Republicans in a good faith effort to develop a bill that will both provide health care coverage for 10 million children and have enough bipartisan support to be enacted into law. So far, there have been more than 20 meetings.
• The negotiations are ongoing – however, supporters of the bipartisan bill are disappointed that after multiple hours of negotiations, there is still no agreement.
• It appears that the Bush Administration may be working to ensure that these negotiations will never lead to a strong bill insuring 10 million kids.
• In the next few days, Congress will pass a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program that will include additional funding to ensure that no children will be dropped from their health care coverage in FY 2008 – meeting the shortfall that has been identified.
• While the Democratic-led Congress continues to fight for health care for 10 million kids, we will also vigorously fight to protect the health care coverage of the 6.6 million kids currently covered.