Some reactions to President Bush’s veto of a bill expanding health insurance coverage for poor children


“It’s very sad that the president has chosen to veto a bill that would provide health care for 10 million American children for the next five years. … I don’t think the president wants to say to the American people that he as the decider, the self-proclaimed decider, wants to decide what children get health care and which children do not.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“The Republican Congress created SCHIP a decade ago to give millions of low-income, American children access to high-quality health care – not as a trial balloon for government-run health care or as a way to provide government benefits to adults and upper-income families who can afford private health insurance.” – House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

“Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people. By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America.” – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

“Unfortunately, I believe that some have given the president bad advice on this matter, because I believe that supporting this bipartisan compromise to provide health coverage to low-income children is the morally right thing to do. I hope that we can muster enough votes to overturn this veto.” – Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

“The president’s incomprehensible veto of this bipartisan, fiscally responsible legislation … not only violates his own campaign promise in 2004, but also demonstrates a stunning lack of compassion for some of the most vulnerable members of our society.” – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

“The president made good on his word today and sent back a bill that expands government-run health care without first taking care of the millions of uninsured kids from low-income families for whom the program was intended.” – House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

“The fact that he has said ‘no’ to a bill that has the overwhelming bipartisan support of Congress and the American people – the fact that he has said ‘no’ to providing coverage to 10 million children – shows just how out of touch this president is with the values and priorities of America’s working families.” – Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

“This is an important program with bipartisan support, and I’m committed to a responsible extension. … Any long-term extension must include an effective plan focused on enrolling children who currently qualify but who for whatever reason are not signed-up, anything less is irresponsible.” – Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., R-La.

“I believe there are valid concerns about expanding SCHIP, but the president should sit down with Congress so we can continue the SCHIP program within the scope of its original mission, which is to insure as many children as possible who are too poor to afford private insurance but do not qualify for Medicaid.” – Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

“I believe this is an irresponsible use of the veto pen. I hope the House can garner enough votes to override the President.” – Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore.

“President Bush has robbed nearly 4 million uninsured children of the chance for a healthy start in life and the health coverage they need but can’t afford.” – Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

“The president has denied basic health coverage to four million children, putting ideology ahead of compassion and common sense.” – Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

“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.” – Presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.

“The Grinch came three months early this year and stole children’s health care.” – Presidential candidate Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.

“This president’s priorities are unconscionable.” – Presidential candidate Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

“Today’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) will have a serious negative impact on low-income children and their families across this nation.” – Jay Berkelhamer American Academy of Pediatrics president.

“The number of uninsured kids has increased by nearly 1 million over the past year, and action must be taken to reverse this trend. The AMA strongly urges members of Congress from both political parties to stand on the side of America’s parents and children by voting to override the veto.” – Edward Langston, chair of the American Medical Association’s board of trustees.


Found on The Guardian