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Health Advocates Fear S-CHIP Veto Will Stand: What Next for NH Children?

October 5, 2007

Concord, NH – Despite public protests and private persuasion, children's health advocates in New Hampshire concede that getting the necessary votes for a two-thirds majority in the U.S. House is unlikely in order to override President Bush's veto of the children's health insurance funding bill. At the Bi-State Primary Care Association, Executive Director Tess Kuenning says the focus now has shifted to minimizing the damage the funding cuts will cause.

"The more we can do to get children and families covered, the greater opportunities there will be for people of New Hampshire to have access to services."

The President insists the bill would have expanded the program to cover kids of families that can afford private health insurance. But Kuenning says Bush's veto runs counter to the wishes of voters in the Granite State.

"What we know in New Hampshire is that 86 percent of New Hampshire citizens really favor, and there's real consensus about, insuring children."

The bill passed Congress with significant bipartisan backing, and the U.S. Senate has enough votes to override the President's veto, but about two dozen more votes are needed in the House. Both of New Hampshire's Congressional Representatives support the bill, but Senator Judd Gregg voted against it.

John Robinson/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NH