Washington_The U.S. House of Representatives today upheld President Bush's veto of a bill to expand a popular government health insurance program for children.
Oklahoma Republicans Tom Cole, Mary Fallin, Frank Lucas and John Sullivan each voted to uphold the veto while Democrat Dan Boren voted to override. The final vote was 273-156 with 286 votes needed to override.
The program known as S-CHIP subsidizes health care insurance for about 6 million children at a cost of about 5 billion dollars a year. The vetoed bill would have added 4 million more children mostly from low-income families. The bill would have paid for the increase through a hike in the federal tax on cigarettes.
Republican opponents say the bill would encourage many middle-income families to use government-subsidized insurance instead of their own private insurance.