Bush makes right move vetoing plan

By Robert Kallwass
October 18, 2007

On Oct. 3, President Bush vetoed a very popular bill supporting the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The SCHIP program gives the children of poor families health insurance. Each state has its own regulations on eligibility for the program.

Bush was right to make the decision because the bill needs to be reworked. It got easily swept up with popularity because it is to help poor children. The bill would allocate $35 billion over the next five years to the SCHIP program. It seemingly is good, but I think people are not understanding the exact results the bill will have.

The idea of the SCHIP program is to help children of poor families, the extra money does not necessarily mean that more children would be aided. I do believe that more will be able to get help, but it is not regulated the right way.

The extra money will allow for families with up to 300 percent of the poverty level income to be eligible for the aid. I think it would be important to keep it at 200 percent maximum, and then the extra money would go to aiding more of the poorer children as opposed to slightly wealthier ones. If first all of those below the poverty level can be taken care of, then they can start moving up to 200 or 300 percent of the poverty level income families.

Bush addresses this when explaining his choice to veto the bill. The intentions of the SCHIP program are being changed around. It is increasingly leaning more and more towards federal health care system. Bush is against federal health care, I do not agree with this, but I do think it is a good idea to put this off, the bill needs a lot of reworking, and the SCHIP should not be the ones to undertake so much health insurance. The program was meant as an aid to families in poverty, and no more.

I support Federal Health care, and I think the efforts and ideas that are pushing America towards it look fairly promising, but it can’t work through the SCHIP program. People who get swept up with the idea of helping poor children are blind to all the facts about the bill. Many have not questioned where the $35 billion will come from.

The proposed plan is to increase cigarette and cigar tax by up to $1 per pack. This is a huge amount, and according to Professor John F. Banzhaf the director of Action on Smoking and Health said that smoking is “the highest among those in the lowest economic classes.” It clearly is not a good idea to increase the cigarette tax, which would effect the lowest economic class families the most.

The bill has now been challenged, and the challenge is being heavily pushed by the Democrats. It has been delayed for two weeks now, and radio and television ad des have been made to campaign for the override. I believe that this override, if its successful or not, is really strengthening the campaign for Hilary Clinton and her ideas about federal health care.

The veto is going to be one of the biggest lasting memories of George W. Bush as his presidency comes to an end. The idea of turning down a seemingly innocent bill marked to help poor children is turning those people who already despise Bush to get sucked into a snowball of anti Bush and blind support for this bill. People will pick at anything Bush does now, and when he now does something right, its hard for people to stand by it.

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Robert Kallwass

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