The Senate passed legislation Thursday to add 3 million lower-income children to a popular health insurance program in bipartisan defiance of President Bush‘s threatened veto.
It also gave Democrats, who secured a veto-proof margin, a chance to draw a stark distinction between their priorities and Bush‘s on an issue that resonates with voters.
Bush has proposed spending $5 billion to extend the program. He says the Senate‘s $35 billion expansion would balloon the decade-old program beyond its original mission of covering working poor children and would move more people toward government-run health care.
The Senate measure now must be reconciled with the House-passed $50 billion expansion, which was paid for partly by cutting government payments to Medicare health maintenance organizations.
The vote (68-31) is important to note, because Bush had threatened to veto the bill. I'm just wondering who those kid-hating 31 senators are. (h/t HK) And again, for those who disparage: would we have gotten this expansion under a Republican majority? Oh wait, I found one: