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Missouri Children to Mitt Romney: Show Me Your Health Care Priorities

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Democratic National Committee:

While Mitt Romney is busy raising campaign cash in Saint Louis today, 56,900 uninsured children in Missouri are waiting to see if the smooth talking presidential candidate will finally say whether he supports President Bush's threat to veto legislation that would provide them health insurance.

This week, President Bush is expected to veto a Democratic bill that would increase funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and expand health care to 3.8 million uninsured children, including 56,900 in the Show Me State. [Families USA, 9/25/07] Despite the fact that he relied on the SCHIP program to expand health care to low income children as part of the health care overhaul he championed as Massachusetts governor, Romney refuses to say whether he supports President Bush threat to veto the measure. Asked about it during a Republican candidate debate in August, Romney dodged and weaved, saying only: "Help people buy their own private insurance. Get our citizens insured, not with a government takeover, not with new taxes needed, but instead with a free market-based system that gets all of our citizens in the system. No more free rides." [This Week, ABC News, 8/5/07]

His refusal to take a clear stand on expanding SCHIP funding is Romney's latest attempt to run from his health care record. As Massachusetts governor, Romney championed and helped pass a plan to mandate health insurance coverage for everyone in his state, calling the plan a "conservative victory" as recently as April 2006. [Business Week, 4/4/06] After a backlash from conservative primary voters, however, Romney has now taken to calling new proposals that "are strikingly similar" to his Massachusetts health care overhaul "a European-style socialized medicine plan." [Boston Globe, 9/18/07]

"By running from his own health care record and refusing to say whether he supports President Bush's threat to block health care for millions of American children, smooth talking Mitt Romney is showing that he is more committed to standing with President Bush than standing up for America's working families," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "The American people want new leadership from a president who is committed to doing everything possible to ensure that not one child goes without health care, not more of the same failed leadership from Bush Republicans who put their Party ahead of the people."

SOURCE Democratic National Committee
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