October 4, 2007 | President Bush has vetoed a bill for $35 million in funding that would have gone toward SCHIP, a children's health insurance program geared toward low to moderate-income families. This veto has left the United States Conference of Mayors greatly disappointed.
In a meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors on October 3, led by Mayor Douglas H. Palmer (President of the mayoral conference, as well as mayor of Trenton, NJ), the mayors expressed their concern over Bush's veto. This veto means that 10 million American children, as well as their families will not receive medical insurance.
Mayor Palmer feels that this is merely a "political move that ultimately hurts the children, the future of America. No child in our nation should be without insurance. While the government is laying out billions of dollars to fund the war in Iraq, it is imperative that the Administration recognizes the need to also take care of its people at home."
In the conference, Bush's portrayal of the bill being a philosophical divide between Democrats and Republicans was also criticized.
Palmer went on to say "The SCHIP bill is a bipartisan effort of both the House and the Senate that is critical to children who don't have health insurance. There should be no room for politics when it comes to the health of our children who are the future of our country. Given what we know about the connections between good health and an individual's success in school, in the workforce, and as a parent, it makes no economic sense to deprive low-income children of medical care when they need it or to consign them to the emergency room for illnesses that could have been prevented. As a matter of policy and morality this veto is an embarrassment to our nation."
The Conference is asking the Congress to override Bush's veto on this bill. Palmer also mentioned that this bill would cover millions of children that normally would have no coverage. These are generally children who do not qualify for medicaid because their family's income is too high, yet they still cannot afford the high cost of regular health insurance coverage. Palmer believes that Bush's veto on this bill is a contradiction to the "compassionate conservatism" he has pledged to the people of America.
The United States Mayoral Conference has been consistently working toward full healthcare funding for children in America through their Poverty Taskforce. Mayor Palmer welcomes questions and can be contacted at 202-293-7330.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network