Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Reactions to President Bush's CHIP Veto

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 475

Candidate Reactions

Joe Biden

With one stroke of his pen, President Bush has denied health insurance to 3.8 million kids who were due to get it under this bipartisan expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. He’s willing to spend billions and billions of dollars in Iraq, but he’s not willing to invest in our kids’ healthcare. It is unconscionable and wrong. Every child in this country should have health insurance. The President’s veto is a tragedy for the millions who don’t.

Hillary Clinton
With the stroke of a pen, President Bush has robbed 10,500 uninsured Iowa children of the chance for a healthy start in life and the health coverage they need but can't afford. These children are invisible to this president, but they aren't invisible to the American people or to the overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress – and they aren't invisible to me. I was proud to help create the Children's Health Insurance Program during the Clinton Administration, which today provides health insurance for six million children.

Chris Dodd
This President's priorities are unconscionable. With the resources it takes to execute just over 3 months of the Iraq War, we could fully fund the expansion of health care for needy children that Bush vetoed. Indeed, today's veto is another reminder that this war is not only adversely affecting our security but also adversely affecting our other top priorities, and it's time for Congress to do what it must do to end it.

John Edwards
Today, we have witnessed a President that has turned his back on health care for children. Not surprisingly, in George Bush's administration, corporate cronies and insurance industry allies always come first, while children's health care comes last. In an America where nearly 9 million children don't have health coverage, Congress must do what is right and fight for these children and override Bush's cruel veto.

Even more shocking is that Republican Presidential candidates, including Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney are all lining up with President Bush and against health care for our children. Instead of threatening the health care of children, it's time for Bush, and Republicans like McCain, Giuliani, and Romney to start picking on someone their own size

Barack Obama
It is outrageous that the President has decided to use his fourth veto to deny health care to four million American children. At a time when we’re spending billions of dollars on a war that should never have been authorized and giving billions in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, today’s veto of this bipartisan plan shows a callousness of priorities that is offensive to the ideals we hold as Americans. But George Bush doesn’t have the last word, and I will keep fighting for the Republican votes needed to override his veto.

As the wealthiest nation on earth, there is no reason we shouldn’t be able to cover every child. As President, I’ll sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term that will cover every American, and cut costs more dramatically than any other plan offered by a candidate in this race. And I’ll do it by bringing Republicans and Democrats together – like I did when I was in the Illinois state Senate, when I helped expand health care for an additional 150,000 children and their parents.

If there’s one thing all of us should be able to agree on, no matter what our political views, it’s that our children should get the treatment they need when they need it. And when I’m president, they will.

Bill Richardson
The Grinch came three months early this year and stole children's health care. Unfortunately, this is no fairy tale, and unless Congress overrides the President's veto, it will not have a happy ending.

President Bush's veto is irresponsible. It is outrageous. It is simply immoral. Of the many shifting rationales the President has offered for vetoing this bill, one is that it will burden private insurance companies. That sums up everything we need to know about this President. Choosing between insurance companies and children should not be hard.

This bill is morally and fiscally responsible. It pays for itself with a cigarette tax right now. It will save us money over the long run by getting poor children the treatment they need when they need it, rather than forcing them into overstrained, costly emergency rooms.

I strongly urge Congress to do the right thing and override the President's veto.

Other Reactions

Tom Harkin
Just two short days after the President declared October 1st Child Health Day and recognized the important role CHIP has played in helping poor children stay healthy, he has decided to turn his back on the health of millions of American kids. The CHIP bill has the overwhelming support of Democrats and Republicans, nurses, doctors, teachers and health insurance companies, for one reason – because it works. Once again, President Bush’s rhetoric fails to match his actions, and this time it is at the expense of children across the nation. I pledge to work with my colleagues in the Senate to continue fighting for working families by overturning this veto.

Ted Kennedy
President Bush and I have one thing in common.

When either of us wants to see a doctor, American taxpayers cover 72% of our health care premiums. And when it comes time to pick a medical facility, either of us can go to a government-run hospital like the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

President Bush just vetoed a bill extending and reforming the State Children's Health Insurance Program. So I want to know:

If government-run health care is good enough for me, and is good enough for President Bush, why isn't it good enough for America's children?

Earlier this week, I stood outside the White House with working families to ask that very question -- and we've got it on video. Watch it, and join our effort:

President Bush says that SCHIP will cost too much.

But for the price of one day in Iraq, we could cover 256,000 children. One week would cover 1.8 million children. And just over one month of the Iraq war would cover the full cost of the bill, insuring more than 10 million children for a whole year.

This is a question of priorities -- and President Bush's priorities obviously don't include the needs of America's children.

There has to be a better way. Health insurance shouldn't be a luxury for the privileged few. It should be a right for all Americans -- especially our children.

As part of Monday's rally, a group of children pulling little red wagons was at the gates of the White House to urge the President to sign the bill. Please watch my video from the rally, and show your support for SCHIP:

When my son lost his leg to cancer as a child, my family didn't have to worry about getting him the best possible care. But in the hospital waiting rooms, we saw family after family -- middle class families -- driven into poverty because of their children's medical bills.

So I ask President Bush and the Members of Congress who support his veto:

Would you deny your own family what you'll be denying millions of other families if this bill is vetoed?

If you don't believe the federal government should support children's health care, how can you in good conscience accept it for your own families?

We can be a voice for the nation's children -- a voice that every member of Congress needs to hear. If government-supported health care is good enough for Congress, it's good enough for America's children. Show your support for SCHIP today:

Finally, Moveon is organizing a protest rally against the veto tomorrow in downtown Des Moines.
Where: In front of the federal building downtown
210 Walnut Street
Des Moines, Iowa, 50309
When: Thursday, Oct 4 2007, 5:00 PM

View Larger Map
Click here to RSVP:

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