Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) today blasted House Republicans as they once again failed to join with the Democratic majority to override President Bush’s veto of the expanded State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The effort failed by just 15 votes.
â€œToday, President Bush and House Republicans stood between 3.8 million additional children who would be covered by SCHIP and the health care they need.,â€ said Congressman Clay. â€œOver 56,000 children of hardworking Missouri families will remain uninsured because the President and the Republican minority continue to refuse to cover them. That is indefensible, especially when the economy is teetering on the brink of a recession. One of the most irresponsible things we could do is to leave millions of children uninsured as their parents struggle with foreclosures, layoffs, and higher prices for gas, utilities and groceries. As a parent, I want every child in this country to grow up healthy, with insurance coverage that helps keep them well. There is no excuse for sustaining this veto, and we continue the struggle to cover every child in this nation.”
The legislation vetoed by the President provided a $35 billion expansion of the SCHIP program which would have provided health care coverage to 10 million American children. The existing SCHIP program was extended last December until March 2009. But without this legislation, 3.8 million additional low-income children of working families will not be covered under the program. In addition, state budget shortfalls and administrative rules from President Bush put children who are covered now in jeopardy of losing health care.