October 17th, 2007
12:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Majority of Americans support SCHIP

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows a majority of Americans want Congress to override President Bush’s veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, otherwise known as SCHIP.

The House will vote on Thursday on whether to override the veto. The poll shows that 61 percent of Americans want Congress to override it, while 35 percent do not.

"The bill that Bush vetoed appears to be nearly as popular among moderates as liberals,” explained CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Conservatives are in the president's camp with only 43 percent support overriding the veto."

President Bush held a news conference Wednesday morning, and explained why he vetoed the bill saying the White House was not engaged in developing the bill, “we weren't dialed in. And I don't know why. But they just ran the bill and I made it clear we weren't going to accept it.”

The program provides health insurance to children in families with incomes too great for Medicaid eligibility, but not enough to afford private insurance.

The Bush administration has decried the spending increase primarily supported by Democrats as unnecessarily subsidizing middle-income people as part of Democrats' "goal of government-run health care for every American."

The poll was conducted on October 12-14, 2007 with a sample size of 1,212 adult Americans and a margin of error of +/- 3 points.

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- CNN Political Producer Xuan Thai

Filed under: Congress • President Bush • SCHIP
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. David Dover, De

    This expansion of the CHIP would ruin it. It is meant to help children of families who are moving to self sufficiency. They lose Medicaid or are inelgible because of income but can't afford total family coverage. This is a transition.

    If people making 50 or 60k won't budget, that should not be our problem. What this is all about is buying votes by creating a middle class entitlement out of a good program. It is the entitlements which threaten our government's finacial stability. Adding another one is just foolish.

    Veto away.

    October 18, 2007 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  2. Eric Turner, New Castle, PA

    Many in Congress make it sound like the entire SCHIP program will be funded by a simple 61-cent-per-pack increase on cigarettes. That is FALSE.

    Behind the scenes they intend to almost double the price of cigars. In comparison, cigar smokers are a very small group of smokers. Cigar smokers now face a $8 cigar becoming $14+ while cigaretts only go up 61 cents a pack.

    The democrats will lead you to believe its all about the children and their healthcare. If this were absolutely true, then why not tax all working taxpayers since this is supposed to benefit on a national level?

    The taxes from smokers have funded hundreds of welfare programs, including SCHIP when it started. Why are they not also looking at the other "bad" things like fast food? Fast food contributes to just as many health problems and there is a much larger base of people to tax.

    With the increased smoking bans across the USA, there are less people smoking and therefore a smaller tax base to fund such programs. Smoke less so the democrats can higher tax the remaining smokers (for the children, of course).

    Meanwhile these same people sit at the drive-through window ordering greasy hamburgers and contribute NOTHING to the welfare SCHIP healthcare the smokers are forced to pay for. WHY?

    We all pay school tax when we have no kids. SCHIP is a public welfare service and everyone should have to contribute to it. WHY ONLY SMOKERS?

    If this tax was on coffee instead, how would you feel? Overnight, your cup of coffee goes from $.99 to $1.79 due to taxes. Those who don't drink coffee contribute nothing into SCHIP, but reap the benefits of paid healthcare on your every cup of joe?

    Just to make this clear, I agree that everyone should have medical benefits, especially children. However it should be funded by everyone's taxes just like all the other welfare programs we already contribute to out of our weekly paychecks. US Adult population over 19 years is apx 221 million. It works out to be $158 per person,per year in extra tax for to equally fund the $35 Billion SCHIP welfare.

    Instead, apx 45.1 million people smoke and will be taxed $775 MORE on the tobacco they purchase per year.

    But wait, thats not all!
    Note page #9: August 1 cost estimate where its $47.4 billion for 5 years, then $128.7 billion at 10 years from program expansion.


    October 18, 2007 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  3. ThirstyJon, Adelaide, SA, Australia

    Almost any attempt to stop the growth of government is a good thing.

    Go Bush!


    October 18, 2007 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  4. Heide, IN

    Well, who pays for Congress Members Health Insurance? I've heard they have a pretty good deal. Hmmmmmmm....

    October 18, 2007 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  5. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Posted By Wynter, Loudon, NH : October 17, 2007 5:45 pm

    Yeah we know this bill has been around for a while, Bush supported it as Governor and SIGNED it BEFORE as President.

    Guess you don't own a TV as Bush has been on saying that we should take care of the poor children which is the bills original intent and he wants MORE FUNDING as part of the bill.

    He has also said that he is willing to compromise, but the Democrats won't even respond to that request as they are to busy hopping in front of the cameras and with the MSM on their side, are milking this for all it is worth, thus they are the ones who are HURTING THE POOR CHILDREN.

    So I am not sure where "he is turning a blind eye" comes in here.

    Telling it because I know it.


    October 18, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    What is wrong with you people? You make it sound like we are giving out BMWs or Yachts to these kids. But instead we are talking about giving them "basic" healthcare. That same healthcare you take for granted when you get sick or cut yourself at home. That same healthcare you take for granted when you find yourself in an emergency room with a broken leg.

    This is the United States of America, not some third world country. So stop whining about "let'em get jobs!" or "its to much money!". We are spending trillions of dollars abroad on an endless war. Bush gave a huge tax break to the wealthy. But you can't spend a few million dollars on a problem right here in the United States?

    These kids have been ignored by the system for too long. It's time to start protecting our own children or we should consider ourselves a third world country.

    Telling it like I see it,

    October 18, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Derrick, San Diego CA

    People keep calling this program "socialized medicine," do they even know what socialized medicine is? Do they even know what socialism is? Do they hate socialism because Fox News and the Republicans tell them so? SCHIP is not socialized medicine- it is common sense. Private Health Insurance is only good if you have a job that provides it or you are wealthy. Otherwise it is too expsensive for the average person to afford. It becuase of this same privatization that Bush advocates that most poor Americans (not just illegal immigrants) can not afford to go the hospital, or turned away from hospitals, or die in the emergency room. The Republican Party is afraid to anger big Health Insurance, so they advocate private coverage- I am for any program that will cover poor children and adults. The United States is one of the few countries that a kid can not go to the hospital if he does not have insurance- we turn sick kids away or force them to stay at home! How can people support these kind of crazy policies! I tell you how, becuase these people jobs provide them with insurance, or they make way more than the average american and can pay for it themselves. Time to start thinking about those people who do not have your advantages. I used to think 83k was a lot of money. Then I moved to California. If you have a wife and kids living in SOCAL- 83k is barely enough to scrape by. You can not afford to pay full coverage health insurance for 2 or 3 kids and live comfortably. Wake up Republicans! Would you rather pay 200 billion dollars to fight a war or 50 billion to help poor kids?

    October 18, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Steve Sumter SC

    Derrick in SD,

    Republicans don't hate socialilism because FOX news tells us to, we hate it for 4 reasons:
    1. You are relieving folks of personal responsibility.
    2. You are trying to ram it down our throats.
    3. Socialism doe not work!
    4. You are trying to make the government your mommy and daddy

    October 18, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Derrick San, Diego CA

    ""The government has built in checks and balances. The President is the president!! Thats who "We The People" elected to be our president. The government under the president is there to support and keep policy in line with the ideals of "We The People", …who by the way, elected the republicans to run the country, for those who havn't figured it out yet,if you dont like it impeach the President. Untill then the President is still the president. Unfortunately, when the Democratic party won a few seats in the house and congress, which, by the way for those who dont understand, is a supporting role for our government, they think that every issue is unnegotiable and now warrants a "Coup De Ta", by standing in the way of our government business. Its OK to tell the boss you dont like the way he does things. When he then takes your advice, but decides to do things his way….Thats his perogative, HE'S THE BOSS. (put into that position by "We The People". Stop holding our government entities hostage just because you want things your way(as if we dont know who I am talking about….democrats. In most countries that would be TREASON, and punishable by death. Maybe we need to change some laws to hold our elected officials responsible""
    Swanson, you have got to be retarded or maybe you did not make it past 7th grade? The President is not more powerful than congress- Bush is not the "Decider" as he like to call himself- He is the single most powerful person – yes- But each branch is equally powerful- each branch can overrule the other. That what checks and balances mean. Bush is a terrible president- he is wanted for international war crimes- Never before happened in American History our president (and SECDEF) was wanted for WAR CRIMES?!?! His approval waiting is the lowest ever for a president who did NOT Resign from office- Bush would be impeached if Congress had the votes, but unfortunately there are enough remaining republicans to stop that from happening- of course the alternate is worse- Dick Cheany would be a thousand times worse. If you are going to comment at least be truthful- the US is not a dictatorship and the American people and congress deserves to be heard. I hope they overrides Bush's Veto. Amazing how he never vetoed a bill until we had a democratic congress. And the he call them partisan? He is the one who refuese to compromise and be "partisan." Thank God we will have a democratic president in 2008 who can hopefully get this country back on track.

    October 18, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. James, Phoenix AZ

    Derrick – San Diego,

    Socialism : a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community for the purposes of increasing social and economic equality and cooperation.

    FACT: The top 20% of wage earnings in American (account for 40% of the total wealth) – pay almost 70% of all taxes.

    This means the remaining 80% of the country pays 30% of all taxes.

    NOW THINK: Of these two groups – which receive the greatest benefit?? Obviously the poorest segment of our society (welfare, social security disabiilty, etc etc).

    Adding more domestic spending programs to further benefit the non-tax or low-tax paying citizens is simply Robinhood Economics (socialism). The Iraq War will one day end – no more cost. These entitlement programs (expanded SCHIP, universal healthcare, baby bonds, 401-k government contributions, etc) will go on and on and on. And the costs will rise year after year.

    You can call me "heartless" – I've actually heard it all before when my kids don't get everything they see or want on TV.

    October 18, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Eric, New Castle, PA

    I'm glad to see that it did not pass the House today. Not because of the children, but because of the fact that a specific group of people were targeted to pay for a national problem while the majority reap the benefits.

    I think SCHIP needs to look at a national type of tax which ALL taxpayers would contribute their fair share of the burden. We all pay school taxes, even if we don't ever have kids. If this is going to be a national welfare benefit, then tax everyone as such, not just smokers.

    October 18, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Christina, St. Pauls NC

    The revenue used to pay for the S-CHIP program isn't straight income tax. It's revenue from tax on tobacco (ie: cigarettes). I'm a smoker and I don't mind paying higher prices per pack if it means providing children with health care they wouldn't otherwise get. Why not increase tax on beer and all other alcoholic beverages and throw that revenue into the fund as well? What does it say about America that no one bats an eyelash to spend upwards of $200 billion to send soldiers to their death in Iraq (not to mention slaughtering civilians there) but "putting our foot down" when it comes to shelling out cash to provide poor children with health care? It's asinine!

    October 18, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. Mike, in Texas

    Unless you personally deal with or are covered by government sponsored medical programs, you probably will never understand what they are really like. Many of you are unhappy with the way FEMA handled Katrina. Maybe you are upset that you might not see any retirement money from Social Security in the future. The same problems with management occur in government funded medical programs. Doctors for the most part are capitalists. Yes, they hire someone to manage their claims. Its called overhead which is a business expense. If the insurance pays at the same rate or less than your expenses, you lose money. This is where Medicaid, SCHIP, and like programs enter. If I'm in the private practice world, then I probably do NOT take on these patients. I tell these patients to go the medical school or other indigent clinics where they see the poor patients. This creates a bottleneck at these clinics. Medical schools rely more and more on patient service billings than state revenue because states are also pinching pennnies. The schools need to have a mix of payer sources that can cover expenses and keep them from running a deficit (unlike the government that doesn't have to balance its checkbook). So if almost all of these government funded program patients are funnelled into the medical schools and the numbers of patients in these programs increase, then that will increase wait times for these patients to get into see a physician (kind of like the waits heard about in Canada). Its simple economics. If you have a business and one customer routinely pays less and hassels you more, you go to other customers. Medical care is similar. It is already happening to some with Medicare. Because of the proposed cuts in Medicare (up to 40 something % in a decade or less), some private doctors are not taking on new patients with Medicare.

    When you talk about Universal Health Care in other countries, you are probably talking about government ran healthcare systems like in Canada and Europe. Hopefully, you are not taking Michael Moore's latest film 'Sicko' as total fact. It has been long documented that these government-ran healthcare models produce long delays in treatment including in Canada and Europe. Recent data suggests these models produce longer lives and less problems with pregnancy and child mortality. You need to remember there also other variables in play here. Healthy habits in societies such as Japan probably contribute much to this improvement of health statistics in their country. The unhealthy practices in the US doesn't help our statistics. When it comes to cutting edge care, the US healthcare system has some of the highest if not the highest rates of success (one in particular is CANCER). This was not accomplished by having a government sponsored or controlled system. Certainly we need to find ways to get healthcare to those who either can't afford it or don't get it because they are worried about the expenses they may incur (people should not be forced to go bankrupt over resonable healthcare). One of the problems with our healthcare model is its successes (the great but expensive advances). If you are among the populus that believes you should have the latest, most expensive medications (Crestor, Plavix, etc), diagnostic tests (yearly whole body MRI's, routine PET scans of the heart), etc than we will need to tax at a much higher rate than what Europe already taxes their citizens and we still may not be able to afford this system.
    On the note of government provided healthcare for all, what do you think about government provided housing, food and drink, and transportation for all? I've heard one individual recently on CNN suggest we should just go to work and the government should provide everything else for us. I believe Karl Marx had this same idea of utopia.

    October 20, 2007 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  14. Andre' J. Perrin, Richardson, TX

    We all know the Republican Health Plan is " get sick and die"

    October 20, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
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