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Compromise on SCHIP



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It would be easy and perhaps justifiable to summarily call for Congress to override President Bush's recent veto of SCHIP - the State Children's Health Insurance Plan. But, there is more to this ideological political battle than the health and well-being of millions of uninsured American children, including tens of thousands here in Utah.

SCHIP is a vital and successful government program. Since its inception a decade ago, SCHIP has undeniably benefitted the lives of youngsters from lower-income families. It is one of the best conceived programs to come out of Washington in decades.

However, Congress is threatening a good thing with its recent vote to expand the program to include children in homes with increasingly higher income levels - not necessarily just the needy. The President's veto came with the expressed concern the new SCHIP takes the nation a step closer toward universal government sponsored health care in this nation, something Mr. Bush correctly opposes.

Certainly, there is room for compromise on this issue.

President Bush has indicated his willingness to accept increased spending for SCHIP, but at a level lower than what Congress recently authorized. That seems a reasonable offer. In KSL's view, funding for SCHIP can and should be expanded to sustainable levels so that the President's veto does not prove fatal to his vital program.

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