Senate Democrats

Governors From Across the Country Oppose President’s Veto of CHIP; Urge Veto Override

Yesterday, in the wake of President Bush’s veto of the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance program, governors from across the country spoke out in support of the bill. They roundly expressed dismay at the President’s decision and called on the members of their state’s Congressional delegations to vote to override the President’s veto. Will members of Congress listen to the governors who agree that this legislation is vital to the children of their states?
Governor Granholm Was Extremely Disappointed at President Bush’s Veto. “Once again President Bush’s policies have hurt Michigan, and this time the target is uninsured kids.  I am extremely disappointed by the president’s veto of a common sense, bipartisan effort to provide more Michigan children with affordable, quality health care. We have roughly 158,000 uninsured children in Michigan, which gives us 158,000 reasons to fight for their health.  We are able to provide health care to 55,000 children in Michigan every month with the children’s health insurance program, but we have an opportunity to make progress covering more.  Without this legislation and the resources that will come along with it, many Michigan children will go without the health care they need.” [Governor Granholm Press Release, 10/3/07] 

Governor Lynch Said President’s Veto Hurts Children and Working Families. “This veto hurts children and working families. I urge members of Congress to overturn the President’s veto and ensure that families have access to affordable, quality health care for their children,” Gov. Lynch said. “We should be doing all we can to ensure our children have access to quality, affordable health care. By vetoing this legislation, the President is throwing up roadblocks and hurting children and hard-working families.” [Governor Lynch Press Release, 10/3/07]  

Governor Huntsman Called Bush’s Veto “Ill-Advised.” “Hatch and Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, voted for the expansion, which is also supported by Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. The governor called the veto ‘ill-advised.’” [Salt Lake Tribune, 10/4/07]

Governor Corzine Said President Bush Missed an Opportunity to Display Compassionate Leadership. “Once again, President Bush has missed an opportunity to display compassionate leadership.  Instead, he has resorted to political and ideological gamesmanship rather than seek a bipartisan solution that would protect this nation’s most vulnerable children. The stakes in New Jersey are high, our successful Family Care program has 124,000 children and 80,000 parents whose coverage is in jeopardy.  If the program is not reauthorized, these children and their families might lose their coverage or alternatively New Jersey taxpayers will be forced to pick up the tab. While the President continues to advocate an ideological and harsh policy of reducing coverage of children, we will do everything we can to preserve the bipartisan Family Care program…I commend the bipartisan effort of our New Jersey delegation who voted to renew SCHIP. And I urge Congress to overturn this devastating veto and fully reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The future of our nation is in these very children we seek to safeguard.” [Governor Corzine Press Release, 10/3/07]

Governor Ritter Urged Congress to Override the President’s Veto. “At a time when the entire country is focused on finding ways to provide health coverage to the uninsured, and at a time when even Congress has come together and found bipartisan common ground over this issue, President Bush’s priorities are just plain wrong. States need maximum flexibility to determine how to address the particular needs of their most vulnerable populations, especially our children. With his veto, President Bush has put up a road block that interferes with our ability to improve health care in this country. The veto also undercuts our efforts to provide coverage to the 180,000 Colorado children who lack health insurance. Fortunately, the veto is not an insurmountable road block. I urge Congress to override the President’s veto as quickly as possible.” [Governor Ritter Press Release, 10/3/07]

Governor Beebe Said President’s Veto Was a Disappointment to Tens of Thousands of Arkansas Families that Rely on CHIP. “This veto is a disappointment to the tens of thousands of Arkansas families who rely on SCHIP to provide health care for their children through the ARKids First program.  I urge Congress to override this veto and keep these vital health-care services in place for Arkansans.  We currently have about 80,000 Arkansas children whose only option for health care comes from this federal assistance. While the services provided by ARKids First will remain intact for the immediate future, federal assistance must be sustained to ensure the long-term care of these children.  ARKids First has made exceptional strides in improving Arkansas health care over the past ten years, and now is not the time for the federal government to cut off this critical support.” [Governor Beebe Press Release, 10/3/07]

Governor Blanco Was Extremely Disappointed in President Bush’s Veto, Urged Members of Louisiana Delegation to Override the President’s Veto. “I am extremely disappointed President Bush has decided to turn his back on the children of Louisiana and our country. Health insurance is fast becoming a luxury when it should be a basic right. In Louisiana alone, some 100,000 children depend on our SCHIP program, LaCHIP, for critical access to the health care they need. I thank the Members of our Louisiana Delegation who supported this bill, and I urge those who did not to join their fellow Members of Congress and override this veto to provide for the health and well-being of our children.” [Governor Blanco Press Release, 10/3/07]

Governor Culver Called President’s Veto “Irresponsible and Unacceptable.” “I am obviously disappointed, but not surprised, by President Bush’s decision to veto the bipartisan SCHIP bill.  Republicans and Democrats in Congress worked together to craft a critically important compromise bill which allowed states to continue insuring low-income children.  SCHIP, or HAWK-I, is a state-federal partnership that works for Iowa’s kids whose families are unable to afford adequate health care.  With the stroke of his pen, the President has chosen to put at risk health care for 21,000 Iowa children.  The President made a bad decision that I believe to be both irresponsible and unacceptable.  It is now time to urge every member of Congress, including Rep. King, to listen to their constituents, stand up for children, and vote to override the President’s veto.” [Governor Culver Press Release, 10/3/07]

Governor Easley Said There Was “No Excuse” for North Carolina Members to Vote to Uphold President’s Veto. “I am disappointed that President Bush vetoed a bill that helps needy children get access to health care.  This veto makes no sense. The bill ensures that North Carolina has enough federal help to serve all the needy children eligible for the program.  Without the increases in the bill, North Carolina will be short $61 million next year, the amount needed to cover 30,000 children, as federal money will run out. We need this bill to serve North Carolina children currently eligible for the program. It is not for North Carolina adults, nor for children in families earning $80,000, nor illegal immigrants, nor for those with insurance right now.  Those who make these claims are not telling the truth. There is no excuse for any member of the North Carolina delegation to fail to support an override of the President’s veto.  The needs of our children must come first.” [Governor Easley Press Release, 10/3/07]

Governor Manchin Was Disappointed by President’s Veto. “The philosophy for our state’s program has always been to provide health care insurance to those children who are above the Medicaid-specified poverty levels and, thus, not eligible for the federal Medicaid program,” Manchin said. “I have joined with other states in writing to the president to urge him to sign this legislation into law and am disappointed in his decision to use his veto power. However, I will continue to work with our state’s congressional delegation to continue to protect these children by seeking a resolution in offering necessary health care protection.” [Governor Manchin Press Release, 10/3/07]

Governor Blagojevich Urged Illinois Delegation to Override President’s Veto. “Government has a wide-range of responsibilities to the public; but nothing is more important than the responsibility to protect the young and most vulnerable members of our society.  And nothing is more vital to protecting children than making sure they have access to the healthcare they need, when they need it.  By vetoing the bill that reauthorizes SCHIP, President Bush today turned his back on millions of our nation’s children.  Despite Congress’ overwhelming bi-partisan support for an expanded and flexible SCHIP, with a single stroke of his pen President Bush has wiped out healthcare for children whose families can’t afford private coverage.  I urge Congress, and specifically the Illinois delegation, to override the President’s veto and make sure SCHIP continues to provide the reliable and flexible federal support that states and the children they serve have counted on for ten years.” [Governor Blagojevich Press Release, 10/3/07]