President Bush yesterday rejected entreaties by his Republican allies that he compromise with Democrats on legislation to renew a popular program that provides health coverage to poor children, saying that expanding the program would enlarge the role of the federal government at the expense of private insurance.
The president said he objects on philosophical grounds to a bipartisan Senate proposal to boost the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over five years. Bush has proposed $5 billion in increased funding and has threatened to veto the Senate compromise and a more costly expansion being contemplated in the House.
"I support the initial intent of the program," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post after a factory tour and a discussion on health care with small-business owners in Landover. "My concern is that when you expand eligibility . . . you're really beginning to open up an avenue for people to switch from private insurance to the government."
July 19, 2007
In the film Tin Cup, our hero tries to warn the damsel that her boyfriend hates "old people, children and dogs." Now George Bush is threatening to veto a plan to expand insurance coverage for children. Yeah, that's right. Children who don't have insurance. And Bush says that it is because it will encourage people to forego private insurance in favor of government insurance. Better to have no insurance at all, I guess than to dare expand coverage.