Four days from now, a wildly successful effort to provide healthcare to 6 million low-income children will disappear.
This summer, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, Democrats and Republicans in Congress came together to expand the State Children’s Insurance Program (known as SCHIP) to provide healthcare to millions more children. It was a simple test of priorities, and both sides agreed to put kids first.
Unfortunately, President Bush has chosen a different course. He is putting ideology and political confrontation ahead of the health of our nation’s children, has unilaterally declared war on SCHIP, and is threatening to veto the bipartisan bill.
If the president follows through on his threat, his stubbornness will carry a serious price for American families. Health insurance for millions of children is on the line, and we know what happens when children lack access to proper care: Minor conditions become costly chronic diseases and preventable illnesses can even claim the greatest cost — the life of a child.
That is why Congress rose above partisan divisions to pass a bill expanding coverage to 3 million additional children — 2 million of them poor enough to be eligible for Medicaid, but still uninsured.
President Bush is not even willing to spend enough to retain the children who are currently on the SCHIP rolls. Make no mistake: Under the president’s proposal, kids will be kicked off SCHIP, and they will go uninsured.
Unfortunately, this president’s war on SCHIP doesn’t end with a low-ball figure or a veto threat...
Read on here...
Cross posted from The Democratic Daily.