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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

House votes in favor of CHIP expansion

Earlier today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program, which has cruelly been vetoed twice by outgoing President George W. Bush.

The House vote was 289 to 139. Supporters never mustered more than 273 votes for similar legislation in the last two years.

The bill, which would extend coverage to four million uninsured children, symbolizes the shift in priorities in Washington. The vote came five days after the House, defying a veto threat from Mr. Bush, passed two bills to combat sex discrimination by employers who pay women less than men doing the same or substantially similar work.

The child health bill would provide $32.3 billion over four and a half years to continue coverage for seven million children who now rely on the program and to extend coverage to more than four million who are uninsured.
The Senate is expected to take up the bill soon and pass it, making it one of the first bills that President Obama will sign into law. Now that's change we can believe in.

Quality health care is not a privilege that should only be afforded to those with the means to pay for it. Rather, it is a right that should be guaranteed to all Americans, regardless of economic means. That innocent children have been victims of a heartless policy position by the current administration is unconscionable.

Thankfully, those days are just about over.

UPDATE: You can find the roll call vote here.

For the Washington delegation, Republicans Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris Rodgers were the only no votes. All of the Democrats and Congressman Dave Reichert voted yes.


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