October 18, 2007

SENATOR CARDIN CALLS FAILURE OF HOUSE TO OVERRIDE CHIP VETO A FAILURE TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR AMERICA'S CHILDREN

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), today said the failure of the House to override the President's veto of the bipartisan Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) legislation "will harm millions of American children who deserve access to medical care."

 

The House vote was 273 to 156, but fell 13 votes short of the two-thirds needed to override the President's veto.   The Senate passed the compromise legislation on Sept. 27 by a vote of 67 to 29, a veto-proof majority.

 

"I am outraged that children in hardworking families will be denied the affordable health care coverage they deserve," said Senator Cardin.   "I also am outraged that under the President's proposed funding of CHIP many children who currently are covered will lose their health care. I am deeply troubled by the campaign of misinformation about this bill that was waged by the White House."

 

The Senator pointed out that despite White House claims, the CHIP bill vetoed by the President "did not provide health care to a family of four with an annual income of $83,000 a year. In fact, the bill had disincentives to discourage any state from doing so."

 

The CHIP bill vetoed by the President would have provided health care to an additional 3.8 million children nationwide, and it included a guaranteed dental benefit and mental health parity.   In Maryland, more than 100,000 children currently are enrolled in the state's program, MCHP.   The legislation would have provided health care to an additional 42,000 uninsured Maryland children over a five-year period.

 

Senator Cardin stressed that because the President's funding request for CHIP failed to keep up with the inflationary costs of health care services, "Many Maryland children who are currently enrolled in the program risk losing their coverage if we do not increase funding for CHIP."