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Dems Add $35B To “Kids” Insurance Plan

From an elated Associated Press:

Chart from the Wall Street Journal

House Votes to Expand Insurance for Kids

House Votes to Expand Health Insurance for Children Despite Bush Veto Threat

By CHARLES BABINGTON

The House voted Tuesday to expand health insurance for children, but the Democratic-led victory may prove short-lived because the margin was too small to override President Bush’s promised veto.

Embarking on a health care debate likely to animate the 2008 elections, the House voted 265-159 to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, by $35 billion over five years. Bush says he will veto the bill due to its cost, its reliance on a tobacco tax increase and its potential for replacing private insurance with government grants.

SCHIP is a state-federal program that provides coverage for 6.6 million children from families that live above the poverty level but have trouble affording private health insurance. The proposed expansion, backed by most governors and many health-advocacy groups, would add 4 million children to the rolls.

The bill drew support from 45 House Republicans, many of them moderates who do not want to be depicted as indifferent to low-income children’s health needs when they seek re-election next year. But 151 Republicans sided with Bush, a move that Democrats see as a political blunder.

It hardly matters that the expansion would be expensive or a step toward socialized health care, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said during the House debate. When lawmakers go home, he said, “the question is, Were you with the kids or were you not?”

The always thoughtful, Charlie Rangel. But what the heck, it’s not his money.

And speaking of demagoguery, this whole exercise is obviously just political theater as it’s known the Democrats don’t have the votes to over-ride a veto.

Still, we must do something for those millions of middle class children whose parents would rather buy plasma TVs than health insurance.

And to hell with the costs.

Are you with the kids or not?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 26th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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