Washington, DC— Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Byron Dorgan and Bob Casey joined former National Economic Adviser Gene B. Sperling on a press conference call today to discuss the societal and economic impacts of vetoing the Children’s Health Insurance Program renewal, as President Bush has threatened to do.
“A strong America begins at home – with strong schools, strong communities and neighborhoods. And it begins with health care,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “We are saying to the President: Please, for the sake of this country, for the sake of our families, and for the sake of the millions of kids who will have health insurance coverage – do not veto this important children’s health insurance bill.”
Said Senator Byron Dorgan: “I don’t know what the second priority of most Americans is, but I know the first priority for most is their kids, and their kids’ health. That’s what the CHIP bill is all about – keeping kids healthy and helping them heal when they are sick. No child should go without medical care when they are sick, and this bill takes a big step toward seeing that every child gets the health care they need. What’s at stake is our kids and their futures. The President should sign this bill.”
“Children who have access to health care do better in school. If they learn more, they earn more in life,” said Senator Bob Casey. “Business leaders across the country understand that this investment in our children is an investment in our economic future. I urge President Bush to not veto the Children’s Health Insurance bill; it could have detrimental effects on our nation’s economy.”
Said Gene B. Sperling, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former National Economic Adviser and Director of the National Economic Council in the Clinton White House:
“While our end goal must be universal health coverage for all Americans, neither the children nor the illnesses of America’s uninsured young will wait while our leaders figure out how to end our national disgrace on health care coverage. The White House has offered nothing – no better idea, no alternative, no plan – that will keep these millions of children from going to sleep every night without health insurance. The Congress has shown leadership by passing this bill, which will reduce the number of uninsured by 3.8 million over five years.”