90,500 children in MA at risk of losing health insurance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Bush vetoed legislation to provide health care for more than 10 million American children, including more than 90,000 children in Massachusetts. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee which has oversight responsibility for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and a strong supporter of the program, responded to the president’s veto.

“It is outrageous that the president is playing politics with the health of American children. Using his veto pen to deny health care coverage to millions of children, President Bush has shown himself to be a truly Compassionless Conservative,” said Rep. Markey.

This morning, while the president was vetoing the CHIP bill, his administration released a report lauding a “decade of progress on children's environmental health.” The report focuses on air quality impact on childhood asthma and other breathing problems, and protecting children from toxins such as lead.

Unfortunately in both these areas, the president has failed to sufficiently protect children. The administration has neglected and under-funded the Consumer Product Safety Commission, exposing children to dangerous levels of lead in toys and other products. By refusing to adequately regulate industry, the Bush administration has failed to reduce air pollution or curb the impacts of global warming.

“Vetoing the CHIP bill while simultaneously releasing a rosy ‘progress report’ on children’s health reveals the toxic level of hypocrisy pervading Bush administration policies,” said Rep. Markey. “The recent tsunami of tainted toy recalls has obliterated the administration’s credibility on the protection of children from hazardous lead levels in toys and other products. The president’s continued refusal to support specific, measurable and meaningful action to curb global warming and related air pollution has only left children more vulnerable to asthma attacks.”

“The president’s record on health care is abysmal, no matter how you look at it. I remain committed to expanding the CHIP program and ensuring it receives full funding. I am also committed to action, not rhetoric, when it comes to responding to the threat of global warming and protecting our children from lead in toys and other products,” concluded Rep. Markey.



October 3, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836