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Pelosi Floor Statement Urging Override of President's Veto of SCHIP
Date:10/18/2007

hing that we need.'

"So when the President wants to insure 4 or 5 million children instead of 10 million children in this initiative, is he the one, the decider, who wants to go that family and say, 'Your child is out?' Bethany had heart problems from birth; she turned 2-years-old in July. She has been told by some people as they lobbied: 'Well, the baby is better for now, you don't need SCHIP anymore.' But she does. But they said, 'We're not just lobbying for Bethany, we're lobbying for all the children.'

"But that does not include people earning $83,000 a year. So while some of you may use that as an excuse not to vote for this program, I hope you know intellectually that it is not a reason to vote against SCHIP. There are currently no children enrolled in SCHIP with family income of 400 percent of the federal poverty level, $83,000 for a family of four. In fact, 91.3 percent of the children enrolled in SCHIP are in families of four that make less than 200 percent of poverty. And 99.95 percent of them are in families under 300 percent of poverty.

"So this is a sad thing. We're asking people working hard, they're playing by the rules, and they're taking care of their families. They could have stayed out of work and stayed on Medicaid. But that's not what we're encouraging people to do in our country. We're encouraging them to move on and upward. And these families have to come forward and say why they have not attained the American dream of enough wealth to afford $1,200 a month in health insurance premiums and that's a big order.

"I'm so pleased, though, with the work that the groups have done. Easter Seals, the March of Dimes, the Red Cross, all the organizations, working with the governors and mayors. Now 81 percent of the American people support this initiative. And let me also say that there are some myths about SCHIP. I don't really think they're myths, I think they're excuses not to vote for the bill. I mentioned one of them. Anot
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SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
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