Lawton_Although the controversial S-CHIP bill passed in both the House and the Senate, President Bush used his power to veto it. The $35 billion plan helps pay health insurance for millions of children just over the poverty line. But, President Bush says it's too expensive and most Oklahoma Representatives agreed, voting it down.
7News interviewed some state lawmakers to find out how they feel about the bill. Representatives Ann Coody and Joe Dorman agree - something needs to be done about children's health insurance, but they're not sure this bill is the right way to do it.
Others showed their support for the bill by protesting in Oklahoma City. Supporters of the S-CHIP Bill are creating quite a stir. Though the bill passed, it didn't fare well among Oklahoma's Legislators - giving protester's a reason to rally.
Representatives in our area have something to say about it. "Both sides have been playing politics with it and it's a shame," says Dorman. He says children's health insurance is too important to play games with. He thinks they need to find a moderate proposal to agree upon.
"On the republican side they've talked about basically wanting to keep it the way it is. The democrats, on the flip side, probably proposed too much," said Dorman. Oklahoma ranks number seven in the country for children without health insurance. And, in Comanche County, 13.3% of people are uninsured.
As a former principal, Representative Ann Coody says this issue is close to heart. "This is tragic and it breaks my heart, I spent my life educating children," she says. But, she doesn't think this bill is the right way to get children the insurance they need. "I do believe it's too expensive, I believe it's an almost impossible task. But more important than that, I don't believe it's the best thing for our families and for our children," she says.
Dorman, however, feels differently. "I would have voted yes on the bill, just because we've got to do more, but I would certainly try to work harder to see if we could get some compromise."
The Senate has enough votes to override the veto, but, the House doesn't. Supporters need about 15 supporting the bill when the vote is cast on October 18th. If the veto does not pass, that means Oklahoma will lose close to $70 million in S-CHIP funding that also goes to the Sooner Care Program - the state will be the one to pick up the tab.