Washington, DC—Democratic Senators and Governors held a press conference call Thursday to discuss the impact of President Bush’s veto of the Children’s Health Insurance Program renewal on millions of low-income kids in states across America.
“In Washington state, thousands of children that would have been added to the rolls of the insured, now remain unable to see a doctor. And thousands of families that would have been given peace of mind now remain one bike accident away from bankruptcy,” Senator Patty Murray said. “This veto represents a moral failure by the President and a major setback in our state’s goal of insuring all of our children. I urge all members of Congress, on behalf of the 73,000 uninsured children in Washington state and the more than 8 million uninsured children nationally, to join me in voting to override the President’s veto.”
Said Senator Maria Cantwell: “The president is turning a deaf ear to the needs of millions of American children who simply can’t afford health insurance. In the last five years, health insurance premiums grew 78 percent while family wages only grew 19 percent. That is the number the president should focus on and understand that Americans can’t keep pace with the rising cost of health care and still provide insurance for their children.”
“Despite broad bipartisan consensus, President Bush chose to veto legislation that would provide health insurance for millions of children,” Senator Bob Casey said. “This is a successful program embraced by the states and modeled after a state program begun in my home state of Pennsylvania. No matter where they live and no matter what their socioeconomic background every child in America deserves to have access to quality health insurance.”
Said Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Chairwoman of Democratic Governors Association: “Access to health care is fundamental to the well-being of children. They are more likely to grow up to be healthier, more productive adults when they have early access to health care. It’s a simple decision to continue this vital coverage for more than six million children across the United States. It’s unfortunate our President doesn’t agree. I urge all members of the House and the Senate to come together and do the right for the health and well-being of our children – override this veto.”
“In Washington, we know that taking care of our kids not only makes good economic sense, but it is the right thing to do,” Washington Governor Chris Gregoire said. “Unlike the Congress that is working as a partner with states to provide for our children’s health, the President’s veto serves only as roadblock. As Congress works to rally the votes necessary to override the veto, states like Washington will press forward through all means available to us to ensure that our children have access to the high quality health care they need.”