Wednesday, September 26, 2007

S-CHIP: Update

House Resolution 976, the bill to reauthorize funding for and to expand the State Children's Insurance Program (earlier discussed here) passed the House of Representatives yesterday with a vote of 265-159. Still, President Bush insists he will veto the legislation when it hits his desk following the Senate vote.

The Senate will more than likely vote tomorrow, as Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a cloture petition requesting the vote. If the Senate doesn't vote tomorrow or Friday (like they want to be in session on a Friday and have a full five day work week) then funding for S-CHIP will sunset Sunday September 30th as planned. And still, Bush insists he will veto S-CHIP.

In the House vote, 45 Republicans voted for S-CHIP--that's a big jump from the five who supported the legislation in August.

There are many sides to this story, hence the reason both parties are taking this in stride and why President Bush promises to veto the legislation. However, one of the most common heard critiques from both sides of the aisle is the comment that congressmen and women are playing politics with children's health care. One quote I found particularly amusing: "This is a government-run socialized wolf masquerading in the sheep skin of children's health." Yeah, that quote from Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas is one of many spewing from the halls of Congress this week as Republicans try to scare the American people into thinking providing for the good health of America's children is just like true socialized medicine.

For a better look at the different perceptions of S-CHIP reauthorization, CQ Politics offers a synopsis--hat tip to The Mountain Goat Report.

Perhaps the number one problem the opposition to the legislation frequently discusses is the possibility that children from families who have the means of providing them health insurance, but choose not to will be rewarded with a government handout. Factually, the legislation provides for children of families that are above the poverty level, but cannot afford the cost of living plus adequate health insurance. A common misconception is that uninsured children are only those children below the poverty threshold. This simply isn't true in the "Two Americas."

If tomorrow's Senate vote goes anything like the vote did in August (and subsequent votes on amendments) that effectively tabled the issue until now, the Senate Democrats (with Republicans Hatch, Domenici, Snowe, Grassley, and Independents Leiberman and Sanders) will be able to send the bill to President Bush's desk, but won't have the votes to override his promised veto.

1 comment:

Sparky said...

No surprises on this vote. However, Idaho Republicans didn't back the kids up in Idaho at least according to www.grantforcongress.blogspot.com