BONO VOTES TO OVERRIDE THE PRESIDENT'S VETO ON CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE
Congresswoman Bono voted today to override President Bush's veto of the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2007, H.R. 976, and in support of healthcare for the children of California and the entire nation. A two-thirds majority vote in favor is required to override a Presidential veto, and the final vote failed 273 - 156. The Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2007 passed on September 27, 2007. President Bush issued his veto of this legislation on October 3, 2007.
"The children of America who rely on this program deserve a bi-partisan solution to this issue. Simply put, the State Children's Health Insurance Program must be reauthorized so that critical funds are available to cover eligible children. I am proud of my efforts to reach across the aisle in support of a compromise and I call on my colleagues to put politics aside and work together to ensure the future of this important program," Bono said.
The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was initially enacted in 1997 and expired on September 30, 2007. This program allows states to cover targeted low-income children with no health insurance whose families' incomes are above Medicaid eligibility levels. The children eligible for SCHIP are part of families in difficult financial situations who are overqualified for Medicaid, but cannot afford $1200 a month for healthcare. SCHIP is currently operating on a temporary extension that will expire in mid-November. Congress passed a bipartisan compromise to reauthorize SCHIP for 5 years at an increase $35 billion. California's main SCHIP program, known as Healthy Families, is the largest in the country and has been successful in reaching many low-income children. These SCHIP funds currently provide healthcare coverage for more than one million children in the state, according to Bono.
"During the past few months, I have been dismayed by the political gamesmanship on this issue that has replaced compromise and bipartisanship," said Bono. "While I am disappointed that we were unable to override the President's veto, I believe that we must now take this opportunity to craft a viable compromise that will serve the needs of America's children."