Obama Says Bush Veto Hurts Iowa's Children
Barack Obama spoke out today against President Bush's veto of the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2007. The bill, which passed the Senate but not the House with a veto proof margin, would have enabled Iowa to cover an additional 26,400 children currently without health insurance. The veto will also cut children from health insurance plans in states where the funding is currently at a higher level than the Federal law allows.
"With one stroke of the pen, the President has denied basic health coverage to 26,400 children in Iowa, putting ideology ahead of compassion and common sense. At a time when we're spending billions of dollars on a war that should never have been authorized and giving billions in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, today's veto of this bipartisan plan shows a callousness of priorities that is offensive to the ideals we hold as Americans. But George Bush doesn't have the last word, and I will keep fighting for the Republican votes needed to override his veto," said Barack Obama.
"As the wealthiest nation on earth, there is no reason we shouldn't be able to cover every child. As President, I'll sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term that will cover every American, and cut costs more dramatically than any other plan offered by a candidate in this race. And I'll do it by bringing Republicans and Democrats together â" like I did when I was in the Illinois state Senate, when I helped expand health care for an additional 150,000 children and their parents," continued Obama.
"If there's one thing all of us should be able to agree on, no matter what our political views, it's that our children should get the treatment they need when they need it. And when I'm president, they will," said Obama.
As a State Senator, Obama sponsored and helped pass legislation that expanded and made permanent the Illinois KidCare program by raising eligibility from 185% to 200% of the federal poverty level. The legislation provided coverage for an additional 20,000 children and 65,000 Illinois adults in the first year, and by 2007 had expanded health care to 70,000 kids and 84,000 adults.
In Iowa Bush's veto will deny approximately 26,400 children health coverage. Obama's healthcare plan would mandate coverage for all children and it would lower the cost of healthcare for a family by an average of $2500 per month.