Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pelosi to Bush: SCHIP will be right back in two weeks

Not only is this good legislation, it's great tactics. The GOP is losing huge numbers of independent voters over Bush's veto of SCHIP. Let him veto it again:
Following the House’s failure Thursday to override President Bush’s veto of legislation expanding a children’s health insurance program, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed to send a similar bill to Bush in two weeks.

Pelosi said at a press conference after the vote that any future legislation reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) would cover 10 million children — the program currently covers 6.6 million. She declined to discuss whether Democrats would make other changes to the bill.

House and Senate Democratic leaders huddled shortly after the vote to confer on how to alter the bill to secure more Republican votes. Democratic aides said they would offer cosmetic changes, making it clearer that the bill does not allow illegal immigrants to be covered and capping the income eligibility level.
Pelosi is going to clean up the bill so there isn't anything the GOP can misrepresent--nothing they can lie about.

There are very good reasons why SCHIP is so popular. Ten of millions of Americans cannot afford health insurance. Americans love their children and are moved by the suffering of any child--consider the lengths to which American soldiers will go to to rescue injured Iraqi children. When you combine these factors: need, love and compassion, you find the American people strongly motivated to help these children.

Let Bush veto it again: he'll bury the Republican Party's hopes for 2008, and for years to come. SCHIP is the will of the American people.

Read "Pelosi vows another SCHIP vote after GOP sustains Bush’s veto" in The Hill.


Charles said...

Maybe they could just bring up the actual SCHIP program, the one that covers the Frosts, the Wilkersons, and millions of other people.

Bush wants to continue this program. The Democrats want to continue the program. The Republicans want to continue the program. But the leadership is holding SCHIP hostage for a new 35 billion health care program for new people who mostly already can afford insurance, half of which will actually quit private insurance to join this new government program.

Bush even offered five billion dollars extra to fund the program, and told the Democrats that if they needed more money to fully fund the existing program he was ready to listen.

Instead, they pushed this new program, and have lied with the media's assistance, falsely claiming Bush opposes SCHIP.

This is what passes for leadership. The Frosts and Wilkersons should be telling Nancy Pelosi to stop holding the bill hostage, and to RE-Authorise SCHIP.

Charles said...

BTW, the democrats only win on this issue when people are kept ignorant.

In the latest Gallop poll, when people were told NOTHING, and just asked whether they trusted the democrats or Bush on the SCHIP program, Democrats won 52%-32%.

When people were asked whether they would rather expand the program like the democrats, or keep the program as Bush does, 52% picked the Bush proposal, and only 40% picked the democrats expansion.

If they hadn't put "Bush" and "democrats" in that question, it would have been a bigger spread.

The democrats are only "winning" because the media has convinced the people that the democrats are trying to "keep SCHIP", and Bush "opposes SCHIP".

Which seems to suit the Democrats and the "progressive bloggers", who once again fair best when they lie to the people about what they are doing.

The Richmond Democrat said...


You know this is a loser for the GOP.

Keep spinning, it will do you and your party no good. Expanding SCHIP is a good idea--George W. Bush rejects that, while 80% of Americans accept that idea.

80% percent.

SCHIP is going to come back and haunt you.

Brad said...

Charles, you really need to take off you partisan blinders and actually look at the numbers. As it stands, it doesn't cover anywhere near all of the MILLIONS of uninsured children. Even with the $5 billion that Bush wants to add to it, it still won't come close to it.

Like most Republicans, you try to misrepresent what is actually going on. If it were up to the Republicans, there would be no SCHIP at all because it's a government program. So they're trying to bleed it dry because when government works, as it clearly has with SCHIP, it undermines their entire reason for being. So if government actually isn't as broken as they say it is, they actively try to break it, as they are doing with Social Security, FEMA, SCHIP, all the way down the line.

And the reason why so many people support expanding SCHIP, despite the supposed poll you didn't link to, is because they know MORE, not less than you.

Charles said...

RD, I don't think poor children should be held hostage to a fight meant to "hurt republicans in the next election", nor do I care whether the issue is a "winning one" or a "losing one".

There are right things to do, and wrong things to do. Focusing on what helps your party is absurd. I don't choose positions to help my party, I choose my party because it more closely matches my positions.

brad, I've heard that the existing funding isn't enough to cover all the people who could qualify for the program. I believe that. After all, the Frosts didn't sign up for the program until they needed insurance, even though they qualified. In Virginia, we've had to beg people to take money, and spent millions to entice people to sign up.

But people who meet the program requirements haven't been being turned away for lack of funds. If they were, that's who the Democrats would trot out, families whose kids suffered because they were eligible for the program but it was broke.

Further, Bush has said he'd consider more money if and when there was evidence it was actually needed (like if there really were thousands of qualified applicants waiting for funding).

If this was just about getting more money, the Democrats wouldn't have had to re-write the legislation,they simply would have had to appropriate more funds.

They re-wrote the bill to EXPAND coverage to new people. If there were really poor people now being rejected, spending money to expand the program to a new, wealthier class of people would be strange way of fixing that problem.

I like that we have a program, a safety net for those who need it. I'm not that concerned with spending money to beg people to join it, but I support the intent of the program.

But until people actually DO sign up, I don't want to spend billions more on the PRETENSE that there isn't enough money to cover those eligible but not signed up, especially when the PURPOSE of that money isn't to cover them, but to expand the program to a whole new class of people.

Especially when, as the GAO says, almost half those new people, already covered by insurance, my QUIT thier private insurance to get the free benefits.

But I'll say this -- if the Democrats really think we need a new program covering the middle class, then they should propose it. But PASS THE SCHIP funding first. Let's get the existing program back up and running.

They won't -- because they know that if they pass the existing SCHIP, most people WON'T support expansion. Half their support comes from people who think the question is to continue or cancel the program.

And why wouldn't they? The Democrats put a 2-year-old on YouTube with a sign that said "Don't Veto Me", clearly indicating that Bush wants to kick her off the program. Which is a lie.

Given the number of elected democrats who have talked about this being an "election issue", and saying "we have the issue", it's reasonable to question whether they really care about the poor children they are hurting, and the poor people they are scaring into thinking their SCHIP program is at risk, when we all know the existing program would pass tomorrow if the Democrats would let it.

In fact, if the Republicans were still in charge, none of those covered by SCHIP would have ever been frightened into thinking their program was being cancelled.

The Richmond Democrat said...

No one's holding anyone hostage Charles, so calm down.

The SCHIP expansion is the right thing to do, and I hope the Democrats in Congress stick to their guns and do the right thing.

In this particular case doing the right thing for America's children is also very smart politics for the Democrats.

It wasn't planned that way, mind you, but who knew that 81% of Americans would favor expanding this program? Who knew that Bush would do something as silly as veto this? Who would have thought that Republicans would be stupid enough to attack children?

Republicans are the ones who tried to politicize something that shouldn't have been politicized. When 81% of the American people want something, that's a pretty clear consensus. Republicans simply wanted to block this, for purely ideological reasons, mind you, just so they could keep the Democrats from pointing to this as an achievement. That's been the Republican agenda all this year: obstruction.

Well, the Republican Party went too far when they went after these kids and this program, now there will be a price for the GOP to pay. Stop whimpering; Bush brought this on you, not the Democrats.

Triscula said...

The fact that the expansion is needed (and I do believe it is needed) simply reflects how crazy our current health care system has become. I've recently had to looking into paying out of pocket for insurance and the cost is incredibly high. We were looking at $900 per month. I read that the Frosts discovered that private coverage would cost them $1,200 per month. And even then, you can't count on your insurance to cover you if you should face a serious illness or debilitating accident.

The cost of purchasing private insurance is so high that the expansion is warranted. We're not talking about a couple of hundred bucks per month to cover your family. I know people who's mortgages are cheaper than these rates. It's nuts. Perhaps it's time to get serious about a better system and recognize that we're facing out of control costs and (compared to the rest of the industrialized world) unimpressive results.