Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Bush veto kills public health win-win

Bush sinks the SCHIP
Today, President George Bush (mis)used his veto power the fourth time in a move that hurts the health of American children as it helps the tobacco industry (see other bad Bush vetoes here). He received swift backlash for the move. The bill had many supports on both sides of the aisle in Congress. The only party I can think of who really wins from this veto is the tobacco lobby.

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) would provide government-subsudized health insurance to children whose parents are not poor enough to be eligible for Medicaid, but do not have enough money to provide healthcare for their children. Like any other similar program, SCHIP could be taken advantage of, but the pros outweigh the cons. The vast majority of people polled (over 70%) in a CNN poll, as well as in a Washington Post/ABC poll, were in favor of a government-sponsored move that would raise funding by $35 billion to insure around 10 million kids by raising tobacco taxes (win-win for public health!).

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