Bush Unfairly Demonized for Not Supporting SCHIP Increase

It was President Bush versus the children on ABC “World News” August 26. “World News” attacked the administration’s position objection to a $35 to 50 billion increase in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that was passed by Congress before the August recess. In fact, the program characterized Bush’s position as a dramatic cut. “ABC’s Kate Snow reports tonight on a fierce debate over whether the White House is now trying to dramatically cut the program. It’s part of our series – ‘The Uncovered,’” said ABC “World News” anchor Dan Harris. But that’s not the truth. Bush isn’t proposing SCHIP cuts—he actually supports increased funding, just not by $35 or $50 billion. He has proposed expanding the $25 billion program by $5 billion a year, but does not want SCHIP to become a gateway to socialized medicine. “We’ve got a ready-made program here that’s working,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) a proponent of the $35 billion expansion. “We shouldn’t change something that’s working.” But if it is ready-made and working, why does it need a $35 billion increase in funding? The report did not include anyone from the House or Senate who voted against the massive increases, nor did it say by how much Congress wants to “dramatically increase” the program. The expansion of the program would be financed by an enormous tax increase of 156-percent tax increase on cigarettes and a more than 20,000-percent increase on cigars (up to $10 per cigar). Video is available through the ABC News Web site.