Veto Fight Looming Over Children's Health Program

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush is promising a veto, but backers of a bill to expand a children's health program are continuing their efforts to get him to reconsider.

Supporters are planning a march to the White House this morning, with children pulling red wagons filled with petitions supporting the bill.

President Bush had proposed a $5 billion increase in the State Children's Health Insurance Program. But Congress has passed a $35-billion boost to expand the program to about 10 million children.

The program provides health coverage for children whose families can't afford it but aren't poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. The Democrats' plan would be funded by new tobacco taxes.

It's drawn significant support from Republicans. But President Bush calls the bill "irresponsible," saying it would dramatically expand the program beyond its original intent.

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