Bush vetos kid’s health insurance program

Breaking (but expected) news this morning as President Bush vetos the bill expanding sCHIP, the health insurance program for children.

Supporters in Congress – and this bill had strong bipartisan support – believe they might have a veto-proof majority backing this. We’ll see.

11:44 a.m. update: Vermont’s Congressional delegation responds to the veto.

Sen. Patrick Leahy:

“This veto starkly exposes the Bush Administration’s muddled priorities.  For President Bush to veto this children’s health bill for cost reasons would be laughable if it were not so appalling.  This is the same President who would commit the United States to borrow almost a trillion dollars to pay for a catastrophic war.  To him, anything goes if it’s spent in Iraq, but health insurance here at home for kids in families that are struggling is too much.  Insurance coverage for 10 million children costs what we spend in Iraq in just 41 days.”

Sen. Bernard Sanders:

“We are the only country in the industrialized world that does not provide health care for all people. The idea that Bush would veto this legislation to provide health care for children is beyond comprehension.  He has hundreds of billions of dollars for tax breaks for the rich and to pay for the war in Iraq, but apparently he can’t find the funding to provide health insurance for millions of children in families that need help.”

Rep. Peter Welch:

“President Bush has struck a new low today, demonstrating just how out of touch he is with the priorities working Vermonters.  Making sure kids can go see a doctor when they are sick is both inexpensive and the right thing to do.  While 7 million more Americans have joined the ranks of the uninsured since President Bush took office, he seems intent on driving that number higher.  I hope Republican members of Congress will finally stand up to this President on behalf of children and reject his inexcusable veto.”

-Dan Barlow