President Bush's Veto Will Cause 850,000 California Children to Lose Health Insurance
SCHIP Veto Hits California Hardest
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
“Today, President George W. Bush robbed 850,000 children in California of their healthcare coverage by vetoing the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization bill. Instead of expanding healthcare to four million more low-income children and families nationwide, the Bush administration has chosen to take an enormous step backward by revoking health insurance for the 6.6 million people who need it the most.
“This veto has significant implications for California; our Healthy Families plan is the largest SCHIP program in the country. Under Healthy Families, the number of uninsured children in California has been reduced by a third, but there are still more than one million uninsured children in California. By cutting the federal program instead of expanding it, these kids have little chance of ever receiving adequate medical care.
“Ironically, Bush chose to veto this bill the same week he announced his official ‘Child Health Day’. The President’s hypocritical actions reveal that he is all talk when it comes to ensuring children actually receive the medical care they need.
“The state of California, along with seven other states, has already announced it will sue the federal government over the SCHIP veto, but during this lengthy lawsuit process, millions of children will be forced to forgo their healthcare. The House of Representatives has the power to avoid this process if they can garner a two-thirds vote to override the President’s veto.
“We call on California’s 19 Republican representatives to stand up for children by supporting an override of the president’s veto. The House must act now to save the health and lives of the children who need insurance the most.”