Last Chance to Keep the Pressure on Your Congressman! House Scheduled to Attempt Veto Override on Children’s Health Insurance (HR 976)

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10/16/07
Action Needed!
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Thursday, October 18, 2007, in a last chance attempt to override the President’s veto of legislation reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). At this time, there does not appear to be enough support to be successful and our children will suffer the consequences. Call your U.S. Representative at 1-800-828-0498 and urge him/her to vote to override the President’s veto.

Talking Points:

  • I am a voter who lives in your district and your YES vote on HR 976 is very important to me.
  • Please support the health of our nation’s children and Vote YES on HR 976, S-CHIP legislation.
  • This is not about politics - it’s about our children and our future!

Current Situation:
Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been extended until mid-November 2007, but there remains a need to reauthorize SCHIP to extend and expand this successful health insurance program for children.

The House and Senate have each passed HR 976, the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. This bill, which is the product of a bipartisan negotiation by Members of Congress, has been vetoed by President Bush. Congress is scheduled to vote on this issue on Thursday, October 18, 2007 and more votes are needed to override the veto. Support is needed in the House to change “no” votes to “yes” votes. Although the bill originally passed the House, it fell 25 votes short of a veto-proof majority.

Background:
HR 976 is the product of a bipartisan negotiation by members of the House and Senate. Although the House and Senate have both passed this bill, President Bush has vetoed this legislation reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program. If it becomes law, HR 976 would:

  • Invest $35 billion in S-CHIP over the next 5 years
  •  Will extend coverage to an additional 4 million low-income kids who would otherwise go without health insurance
  • Require parity for mental health care coverage
  • Expand access to dental health services.

The bill finances this expansion through a 61 cent increase in the Federal tobacco tax.

The President’s proposed alternative would revoke coverage for approximately one million kids.

On October 3, 2007, President Bush vetoed HR 976.

On September 27, 2007, the Senate overwhelmingly passed HR 976 with a veto-proof majority of 67-29. Go to Senate Roll Call Vote 353  to see how your Senators voted.

On September 25, 2007, the House voted 265 – 159 to approve HR 976. Unfortunately, this vote falls 25 short of the 290 needed to override a veto. Go to House Roll Call Vote 906 to see how your House Member voted.

Read a relevant article on this subject in the September 27, 2007 issue of  Capitol Update.

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