Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to President Bush’s latest excuse against giving America’s children the health care they need. The President has changed on a regular basis his unsubstantiated arguments against CHIP:
“The only consistent part of President Bush’s baseless opposition to improving the Children’s Health Insurance Program is his effort to score political points at the expense of our children’s wellbeing. Today’s excuse – that President Bush would rather protect Big Tobacco than America’s kids – is not only morally abhorrent, it is the latest in a never-ending line of phony excuses for not doing the right thing.
“First the President falsely claimed our bill covers the wealthy. Then he falsely claimed our bill covers too many adults. Then he falsely claimed our bill covers illegal immigrants. Then he falsely claimed our bill is a first step to socialized medicine. Though these charges were completely unfounded, Democrats and Republicans have worked together to revise this bill in a way that ensures those who oppose the CHIP bill can no longer misrepresent it.
“We are working to pass a bipartisan bill that provides 10 million children health care, and we remain open to Republicans’ suggestions on how to do so. All the excuses in the world cannot change the fact that President Bush’s approach to CHIP would mean more than a million children would lose their health care. By his making up a new story every day to oppose our bill – each claim more baseless than the last – I can only assume the President’s singular goal is to deny children the care they need at any cost, including misleading the American people and playing political games.”