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SCHIP Vetoed

October 3, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Since I have been covering the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, for months, I would be remiss not to mention that Congress’s proposal was officially vetoed by President Bush this morning. The veto was executed with fanfare or photographers, so I can only give you the above photo from a protest held Monday by children and adults who support expanding SCHIP.

SCHIP is designed to provide health care to children from low to middle-income families that can’t afford private insurance, but make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Congress’s proposal calls for a $35 billion expansion of the program over five years, which would be entirely offset by a tobacco tax increase of 61 cents per pack.

Congress will attempt to override Bush’s veto sometime in the next two weeks. For a successful override, both chambers would have to muster 2/3rds support — the Senate is already there, but the House is currently about 25 votes short. SCHIP is widely popular and for Republicans from moderate or blue-leaning states, voting to sustain the President’s veto could be politically perilous. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already come out hitting hard with radio ads and robo calls criticizing eight House Republican incumbents who voted against the bill.

The AP has gathered some reaction to today’s veto from Republican and Democratic congressional leaders here.

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