Tuesday, July 17, 2007

SICKO! George Bush Hates Healthy Kids



"heartless and shortsighted."--Sen. John Edwards, Democratic presidential candidate speaking on Bush's veto threat on children's health insurance expansion.


Just when you think the Bush White House can't sink any lower, they make certain to live up to their infamy. In light of a bipartisan effort to expand the health insurance of needy children in the US, the White House has threatened to veto any such legislation. As reported in the New York Times, "The proposal would increase current levels of spending by $35 billion over the next five years, bringing the total to $60 billion." And how would it do so? By increasing our taxes? Not exactly. The money would be raised by a "federal excise tax on tobacco products....cigarettes [tax] would rise to $1 a pack, from the current 39 cents." According to the Congressional Budget Office, the plan “would reduce the number of uninsured children by 4.1 million.” So the Bush White House would rather the tobacco companies continue to cause cancer for cheap, than to take care of children's health. Shameful... On a related note, congrats to Michael Moore. His documentary SICKO, after less than three weeks in national release, has become one of the top five grossing documentaries of all time and is being expanded to 500 new theaters.



Bush Is Prepared to Veto Bill to Expand Child Insurance

July 15, 2007
By ROBERT PEAR

WASHINGTON, July 14 — The White House said on Saturday that President Bush would veto a bipartisan plan to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, drafted over the last six months by senior members of the Senate Finance Committee.

The vow puts Mr. Bush at odds with the Democratic majority in Congress, with a substantial number of Republican lawmakers and with many governors of both parties, who want to expand the popular program to cover some of the nation’s eight million uninsured children.

Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said: “The president’s senior advisers will certainly recommend a veto of this proposal. And there is no question that the president would veto it.”

The program, which insured 7.4 million people at some time in the last year, is set to expire Sept. 30.

The Finance Committee is expected to approve the Senate plan next week, sending it to the full Senate for action later this month.

Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who is chairman of the committee, said he would move ahead despite the veto threat.

“The Senate will not be deterred from helping more kids in need,” Mr. Baucus said. “The president should stop playing politics and start working with Congress to help kids, through renewal of this program.”

full article:

Bush Is Prepared to Veto Bill to Expand Child Insurance



Update!

Senate Panel OKS Expansion of Child Health Insurance

Bipartisan support defies Bush who has threatened veto

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Los Angeles Times
Friday, July 20, 2007

Washington -- Defying a veto threat from President Bush, a Senate panel overwhelmingly approved on Thursday a compromise to expand health insurance for children of low-income working families by sharply hiking tobacco taxes.

The 17-4 Finance Committee vote underscored the popularity of the program, which insures about 6 million children nationwide.

The committee vote left the president isolated, at least for the time being. Six of the 10 Republicans on the panel joined all 11 Democrats in supporting the plan.

Until now, the State Children's Health Insurance Program has been a federal-state collaboration with broad support from both parties. Backers fear that its future will be jeopardized if it becomes a lightning rod for partisan politics. Legal authority for the program expires Sept. 30, and its renewal is considered the most important vote Congress will take this year on health insurance.

The program now costs the federal government about $5 billion a year, with states contributing additional money. The Senate plan would add about $35 billion in federal money over five years, enough to cover 3.3 million more out of as many as 9 million uninsured children.

full article:

Senate Panel OKS Expansion of Child Health Insurance



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