January 23, 2008
Time for another S-CHIP veto override effort

Another attempt to override President Bush's veto of expanding S-CHIP is on the agenda for today.

The struggling economy gives Democratic lawmakers another weapon in their effort to expand a popular children's health insurance program. In the end, however, they appear to have made little headway in overcoming a presidential veto.

In December, President Bush for a second time vetoed a bill that would more than double spending on the State Children's Health Program. Bush said the bill would encourage too many families to replace private insurance with government-subsidized health coverage. On Wednesday, the House was voting on whether to override that veto.

In recent days, Democratic lawmakers have stressed that more families will need to rely on SCHIP this year if unemployment increases.

"In a slowing economy, strengthening SCHIP and providing health care to 10 million children is sound policy, and overriding the president's veto is more critical than ever," said Nadeam Elshami, spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The bill's $35 billion spending increase for SCHIP over five years would extend health coverage to an additional 4 million children -- up from the 6 million children the program currently covers. Lawmakers sent the president a similar bill in October, which he vetoed. Democratic leaders fell 13 votes short in their previous override effort.

I discussed this issue in my interview with State Rep. Garnet Coleman, who explains how the federal action affects what happens in Texas. I don't expect this override attempt to go any differently than previous ones, but it's still a fight worth re-fighting. Daily Kos has more on this, while KUHF has a story on the statewide and local CHIP enrollment levels.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 23, 2008 to Budget ballyhoo

Every Texas Republican Congressperson has voted twice now to uphold Bush's veto. Every one. They must be proud of the fact that Texas is first (meaning worst) in the nation in the number of uninsured children. Or else they just don't care about Texas kids. Texans--remember this in November.

Posted by: Chilicook on January 23, 2008 2:15 PM