Members of the U.S. House voted 222-197 Wednesday to wait until Oct. 18 to consider the veto of the state Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.
President Bush delivered a veto message to the House earlier Wednesday.
All House Republicans who voted were against postponing consideration of the veto until later this month, and only 1 Democrat voted with the Republicans.
Authorization for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program expired Sept. 30. Members of Congress have passed a “continuing resolution” that will keep the program going until Nov. 16.
Bush has proposed increasing funding of SCHIP to $30 billion over 5 years, from $25 billion under current rules.
The bill that Bush vetoed, H.R. 976, would have increased funding to $60 billion over 5 years, in part by increasing tobacco taxes.
States say they need the funding and flexibility to use SCHIP money to provide health coverage for moderate-income children and some very low income adults.
Bush says the changes would make the program too expensive and move it too far away from the original goal of providing health coverage for children of low-income working parents who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, accused Democrats of postponing the vote on the veto message to get a 2-week period in which to “try to play politics.”
Earlier, Democrats said Congress had to reauthorize SCHIP quickly to keep children from losing their health coverage, Barton said on the House floor, according to a version of his remarks printed in the Congressional Record.