Bush’s veto out of line with harsh reality


President Bush has made his biggest mistake since entering the Iraq war. On Wednesday he vetoed a bipartisan bill that expanded and renewed national health care for children.

In our nation, almost 6.6 million children are without health care and the ability to see a doctor. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program bill allows for families that make too much money for Medicaid but not enough to have their own private insurance to get basic health care for their children. This latest fiasco by the president has hurt the average working-class American.

In an address to supporters in Lancaster, Pa., Bush defended his decision by saying “Poor kids first” and “I believe in private medicine, not the federal government running the health care system.”

Poor kids first? How can Bush say poor kids first when he vetoed the bill that would have put them first? His excuse that the program would entice families that are already under private coverage to switch to the government insurance is the greatest insult to the American people.

Not only does he assume that the American people would take advantage of the program, he punishes those that actually need the program the most. The 6.6 million children who do not have health coverage make up almost 9 percent of the 43 million Americans that are without health insurance, and Bush has the gall to say “poor kids first.”

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was absolutely correct when he said that Bush’s action was a “heartless veto.” If our children are our future, should we not ensure that future with access to basic health care?

This is Bush’s fourth veto in his entire presidency, but it also puts the most at stake for him as the president and for his party. When the bill was passed in the Senate, it was passed with enough votes to override Bush’s veto. Within the House, however, they are about two dozen votes short of an override, but the Democratic Party is working hard to convince Republicans to vote to override Bush’s veto.

With the last year of campaigning at hand, this veto could put the presidency firmly in Democrats’ hands. The veto that Bush signed alienated many within his own party already in power and among his grassroots base.

Many things divide this nation, including the idea of a government-run socialized health care. Yet it always seemed that with all the bickering between the two sides, both agreed that children must have health insurance. So how can Bush veto this bill while knowing that both sides agreed to the idea?

The bill was not to be used in a sweeping motion to socialize all medicine like in Canada, but instead to provide a way for poor children to achieve the health insurance that they deserve.

This veto, next to his threat to veto the Iraq funding bill because of a hate crimes bill covering homosexuals, is his biggest mistake. As president, he is supposed to have the interests of the American people at heart — and always at the heart of the American people are our children and our future. This action just goes to show that Bush is out of touch with America, out of touch with reality and lives within the confines of his own mind. It is time the American people tell him enough is enough.

The above column, by Kris, appeared in The Daily Cougar yesterday.