Democrats Write to Republican Governors on Children’s Health Care

Today, Reps. Chris Murphy (CT-5) Anna Eshoo (CA-14) led an effort to organize Members of Congress to send letters to Republican Governors to ask them to use their unique positions to call President Bush and ask him to put down the veto pen. The President is threatening to veto bipartisan legislation to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) program to cover ten million children nationwide. The House passed the final version of the bill on Thursday with an overwheming bipartisan vote of 265-159, and the Senate followed with a veto-proof majority on Thursday.

Read the letter (pdf):

September 27, 2007

Governor Bob Riley

Governor Sarah Palin

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor M. Jodi Rell

Governor Charlie Crist

Governor Sonny Perdue

Governor Linda Lingle

Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter

Governor Mitchell Daniels

Governor Ernie Fletcher

Governor Tim Pawlenty

Governor Haley Barbour

Governor Matt Blunt

Governor David Heineman

Governor James A. Gibbons

Governor John Hoeven
North Dakota

Governor Donald L. Carcieri
Rhode Island

Governor Mark C. Sanford
South Carolina

Governor Rick Perry

Governor John Huntsman

Governor James H. Douglas

Governor M. Michael Rounds
South Dakota

Dear Governor,

As Members of Congress who voted in favor of the reauthorization of the SCHIP program, we urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to contact President Bush to ask him drop his veto threat and sign H.R. 976, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act of 2007.
H.R. 976 is bipartisan legislation which renews and improves the CHIP, investing an additional $35 billion over five years to provide health care coverage for more than 10 million children — preserving coverage for all 6.6 million children currently covered by CHIP and extending coverage to 3.8 million children who are currently uninsured, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. It also provides incentives for states to lower the rate of uninsured children by enrolling eligible children in CHIP and Medicaid, including providing bonus payments. States will receive state-based allotments that are responsive to state demographic and national spending trends. States that face a funding shortfall and meet enrollment goals will receive an adjustment payment to ensure that no child who is eligible for Medicaid or CHIP is denied coverage or placed on a waiting list.

This legislation also replaces the August 17 letter to states from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services which restrained our state's ability to cover children above 250 percent of poverty. While the bill states that it agrees with the President on the importance of ensuring that low-income children have health coverage and taking steps to address substitution of private coverage, it gives states time and assistance in developing and implementing best practices to address substitution of coverage.

Congress passed the reauthorization of SCHIP by a broad, bipartisan margin in both houses. Despite this, the President continues his stubborn insistence on vetoing this crucial legislation. As a Republican Governor you are in a unique position to call on the President and urge him to drop his ill-conceived veto threat.

The time to do so is now.


For full list of signatories, see the pdf file of the letter.

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