HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, September 28, 2007

Senators and SCHIP

The New York Times reports on the Senate's passage of the reauthorization of SCHIP.  It states,

The Senate gave final approval on Thursday to a health insurance bill for 10 million children, clearing the measure for President Bush, who said he would veto it.  The 67-29 vote followed a series of speeches by Republican senators supporting the bill and urging Mr. Bush to reconsider his veto threat.  Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, one of 18 Republicans who voted for the bill, said the White House had shown “little if any willingness to come to the negotiating table.” 

Republican opponents of the bill, like Senators Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and John Cornyn of Texas, said it would be a big step toward socialized medicine, would shift people from private insurance to a public program and would allow coverage for illegal immigrants and children in high-income families.  Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said it was “intellectually dishonest” to make such “outlandish accusations.”  Mr. Bush has said the bill would move toward “government-run health care for every American.”  Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, said those fears were unfounded.  “What will move our country toward socialized medicine is not this bill, which focuses on poor children, but the lack of action to allow people in need to have access to private affordable health care,” Mr. Corker said.

The bill would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to cover nearly four million uninsured children, in addition to the 6.6 million already enrolled. It would provide $60 billion over the next five years, $35 billion more than the current spending and $30 billion more than the president proposed.  Mr. Bush has not shown a willingness to compromise. But he may come under pressure so from Republican lawmakers who do not like being portrayed as hostile to children’s interests. 

Democrats have selected Graeme Frost, 12, of Baltimore, to deliver their Saturday radio address. He will appeal to the president to sign the bill. . . . .

Should be an interesting weekend . . .   Here is further coverage from NPR.

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