U.S. Rep. Kind Statement on House Vote to Override President Bush's SCHIP Veto
Override Vote Came Up 13 Votes Short
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today made the following statement on the failure of the House to get the two-thirds majority needed to override President Bush's veto of legislation to expand and extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The House came up 13 votes short of the 286 needed to override the President’s veto.
“Unfortunately, today House Republicans chose party loyalty over kids, and upset a rare bipartisan effort to extend health insurance coverage to millions more deserving children. Overriding the veto was the right thing to do – the bill was not only fiscally responsible, it was also a smart investment the future health of this country.
“The sooner we can give kids access to preventive care services, the more likely it is we’ll avoid greater health care costs down the road. In Wisconsin, SCHIP funds BadgerCare, and with the help of this bill, Wisconsin could have worked to extend health care coverage to the 63,000 children in the state that are still uninsured.
“Over the past few weeks, the President and his followers have made false claims about this bill, characterizing it as fiscally irresponsible and directed at the wrong people. The SCHIP bill would simply allow states like Wisconsin to capture more children who are already eligible for coverage but who – because of a lack of resources – are not already enrolled in the program. Moreover, this bill is completely paid for with a modest increase in the tobacco tax – the most important thing we can do to prevent kids from smoking, and another way to avoid unnecessary health care costs in the future.
“I simply do not understand how the President can justify another $200 billion in deficit financing for the war in Iraq, while at the same time vetoing a budget-neutral bill that will provide 10 million children with health insurance. An overwhelming majority of Americans believe this is the right thing to do for our kids, and in the wake of this vote, we will continue to look for ways to work together to give health care to children who – by no fault of their own – have been denied coverage.”