Protecting Children's Health

The Senate on Wednesday fended off Republican efforts to limit eligibility and shortchange a children's health insurance program. President Bush has threatened to veto the bipartisan bill, a move that Senator Bernie Sanders called "beyond comprehension." Even staunch Bush loyalists on Capitol Hill doubted that the White House could win a veto fight over the popular program.

The Senate on Wednesday fended off Republican efforts to limit eligibility and shortchange a children's health insurance program. President Bush has threatened to veto the bipartisan bill, a move that Senator Bernie Sanders called "beyond comprehension." Even staunch Bush loyalists on Capitol Hill doubted that the White House could win a veto fight over the popular program.

If Bush had his way, the $60 billion in the Senate version of the children's health care bill would be slashed in half.

"Frankly," said Sanders, "it is a national disgrace that we have over nine million children who have no health insurance whatsoever. It is not only a moral issue, it is an economic issue, because if you don't treat the illnesses the little kids have they're only going to get worse in the years to come, there will be more pain and suffering at a greater health care cost.

"This bill provides for three million more American children to have health insurance. It is a step forward. It doesn't go as far as I would like to go. I think we should cover every child in America and I have introduced legislation to do that," Sanders added.

To listen to Senator Sanders's statement, click here.