In "Spending Veto Is Too Little And Too Late" (On The Left, Oct. 5), Eugene Robinson misstates the facts surrounding President Bush's veto of a bill to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Robinson writes that the authorization to cover children in families in New York earning up to $83,000 "is not in the bill Bush vetoed." In fact, Section 114(a) of the legislation would allow New York to go to $83,000, with federal approval, and New Jersey to stay at $72,000. Also, any other state could go to $61,000 and get the generous SCHIP federal payment .
Section 116(g) of the legislation takes another step to reassure New York that it could put children in families up to $83,000 on taxpayer-supported health insurance. This would give states incentives to bring more affluent, already-insured children into the program rather than focusing on lower-income children who are uninsured and whose parents earn $41,000 or less–the original intent of the program.
The president has said repeatedly that he wants to sign an SCHIP bill that focuses on lower-income children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid but can't afford private coverage.
Adding millions of middle-income children, many of whom already are insured, to the program would hurt rather than help the children who most need health insurance.
Grace-Marie Turner, President, Galen Institute, Alexandria, Va.