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Another CHIP Down: Strike Two for Congress on Children's Health Expansion

January 24, 2008

Bismarck, ND – The CHIPs are down, but not out. That's the word from a North Dakota group after Congress failed on Wednesday to override the President's veto of legislation expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program
(S-CHIP). The tally fell short by 15 votes of the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto.

In North Dakota, nearly 4,500 children are currently covered by the program. Don Morrison, with the advocacy group NDpeople.org, says Congress has missed a golden opportunity to expand that number.

"Covering children's health care is very popular in North Dakota and around the country, and continually defeating this bill is not going to make it go away."

Morrison says looking out for the special interests isn't going to bring needed changes to our healthcare system.

"Frankly those who are opposed to children’s health insurance are obviously more concerned with the profits of insurance companies than they are with our kid's health care. That's what is happening here."

The President said the expansion was too costly and unfair to private insurers. In December, Congress passed, and President Bush accepted, a plan to keep S-CHIP afloat at current funding levels until March 2009. However, it covers 4 million fewer children than the vetoed bill would have.

More information is available online at http://www.ndpeople.org.

Dick Layman/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ND