Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bush vetoes funding for children's healthcare again in the midst of the holiday season

This is compassionate conservatism at work?
President Bush’s [second] veto of an SCHIP expansion was only the fourth veto of his presidency. AP reports that the White House "sought as little attention as possible, with the president wielding his veto behind closed doors without any fanfare or news coverage."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that they have not yet scheduled a date for an override vote, but it could be "next week" or "the week after."
For American kids seriously in need of the care SCHIP would provide, Bush's veto is like getting a lump of coal in a Christmas stocking.

Medical organizations are already speaking out in protest of Dubya's cruelty:
"Today’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) will have a serious negative impact on low-income children and their families across this nation."

- Jay Berkelhamer, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics

"The number of uninsured kids has increased by nearly 1 million over the past year, and action must be taken to reverse this trend. The AMA strongly urges members of Congress from both political parties to stand on the side of America’s parents and children by voting to override the veto."

- Edward Langston, Chair of the American Medical Association’s board of trustees
The Bush administration is happily dumping billions of dollars into Iraq every month, but when Congress tries to strengthen our nation's safety net for children...look out, here comes the veto pen.

Today's action is just another reminder that the right wing doesn't care about the common good. They don't want government to take care of those most in need, let alone provide a universal healthcare system that covers everyone.

Those children who don't have access to healthcare today?

The right wing's answer is tough luck. Their parents didn't work hard enough, weren't disciplined enough, to become prosperous. Those families should be on their own. It's not the job of government to help out those who are suffering. Conservatives believe a social safety net is immoral.

We couldn't disagree more. If the job of government is to guard the common good and protect our freedoms, then American families must have economic security...freedom from want, as FDR said. Americans who are sick and lack access to healthcare are not free to seek fulfillment in their own lives.

If we Americans are truly a responsible, caring people, then we must have a safety net for our brothers and sisters who are not free from want.

If there were a Democratic president in the White House today, SCHIP expansion would have been signed into law months ago. Unfortunately, we're still stuck with a double talking, stubborn, corrupt former oilman with backwards priorities who relishes power, squandering resources, and bullying Congress.

After six plus years of George W. Bush in the White House, we've had more than a taste of the right wing agenda - we've had a bellyful, as Jay Inslee likes to say. Change can't happen quickly enough. Nothing less than the future of our country is at stake in next year's presidential election.


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