Bush to veto children's health legislation today

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

There will be no television lights or radio microphones present today when President Bush vetoes a popular children's health insurance plan OK'd by Congress last week.

The White House says the president thinks the 35-billion-dollar expansion of the so-called "S-Chip" program would turn it into a middle-class entitlement, not the insurance program for poor children it was intended to be.

Lawmakers of both parties backed the legislation, saying it would provide health coverage to millions more youngsters who don't have it. But the president sees it as a step toward socialized medicine and says it would encourage families that have private insurance to drop it in favor of government subsidized coverage.

The plan cleared the Senate by a veto-proof margin, but the House appears to be at least a dozen votes short of the number needed to enact it over the president's opposition.

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