2007-10-05 / Community

Local Politicians Take Bush To Task For Veto Of 'SCHIP'

A number of federal and state politicians have spoken out in the wake of President George Bush's veto of the bill reauthorizing the SCHIP program, which provides funds for the health care needs of children.

Representative Anthony Weiner, who represents parts of Rockaway in the House of Representatives and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, released the following statement today in response to President Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which would have expanded healthcare coverage to 70,000 uninsured children.

"President Bush's decision to use the veto pen to strike down health care for 70,000 uninsured children is shameful. "The fact that so many children are living in New York without health insurance is a moral outrage and we will not accept the status quo. Simply, this program works. With this veto the President has chosen to put free market rhetoric above the needs of children who are sick."

"With the stroke of a pen, President Bush has robbed nearly four million uninsured children of the chance for a healthy start in life and the health coverage they need but can't afford," said Senator Hillary Clinton, a leading Democratic candidate for President. "These children are invisible to this president, but they aren't invisible to the American people or to the overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress - and they aren't invisible to me.

"I was proud to help create the Children's Health Insurance Program during the Clinton Administration, which today provides health insurance for six million children. In New York alone, almost 400,000 children benefit from CHIP every month. The president's veto today stopped us from insuring an additional 3.8 million children." I will continue to fight to provide health insurance to all children - as I have proposed in the Senate - and to pursue quality, affordable health care for all Americans. No child should be invisible in our country or in our health care system."

New York is a prime example that the SCHIP program works. As the second largest SCHIP program in the country, New York has reduced its number of uninsured children by more than 40%. New data released recently by the Census Bureau showed the number of uninsured children rose for a second year in a row to a new high of 8.7 million.

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