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Want to Overturn Bush's SCHIP Veto? Call These Legislators

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Republicans are confident that they'll have enough votes this week to support the President's veto of the SCHIP program, and Democrats are on the verge of conceding defeat on this bill. But you've got a chance to show that the conventional wisdom is wrong, because some GOP members are feeling the heat. There are only about 20 more votes, overwhelmingly Republican, needed to override. (At the end of this column, you'll see the names of the congressmen whom you can call toll-free at 1-800-828-0498 through Families USA if you live in their district and can make your concerns known. If you don't live in their districts, forward this link to those who do live in those states. You can also use the organization's email contact form on its Take Action page and learn basic talking points to make your case.)

The SCHIP legislation extends much-needed coverage for an extra $35 billion to aid 10 million lower-income kids who don't qualify for Medicaid. But the president is pushing the veto in order to serve the the GOP's free-market ideology with an assortment of bogus claims, even as the Bush administration avoids cracking down on billions in corporate health care fraud. But as the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law points out the bill offers important new benefits too: " The legislation would for the first time establish parity for mental health benefits in SCHIP plans by prohibiting discriminatory financial requirements or treatment limitations."

Here are the main talking points to provide your member of Congress, and a link to a range of editorial opinions, mostly supporting the veto override:

This bill represents a historic, bipartisan compromise to reach out to the growing number of low-income, uninsured children in this country and ensure that they get access to the healthy start they deserve.

Don't know what to say? Here are some Talking Points:

I strongly urge you to vote to override President Bush's veto of health care for 10 million American kids.
Every child in America needs and deserves health care.
As a voter, I believe that America's children should the top priority of my elected leaders.
Please vote to override the President's veto of SCHIP! (pronounced S-CHIP).

If your Congressman is on the list, then it's time to give him or her a call to let your legislator know what you think. As the Bazelon Center's alert proclaims:

Please Act Now!

If your Representative is on the following list, call today and urge him or her to vote YES for health insurance for children in low-income working families. And if you know people in those states, forward this email and ask your friends and colleagues who are constituents to make the call.

Use the toll-free number 1 800-828-0498 set up by Families USA to access the Capitol switchboard, which will connected you to your Representative's office.

Target List of Representatives
AL Robert Aderholt
AR John Boozman
CA Brian Bilbray
CA John Doolittle
CO Marilyn Musgrave
FL Gus Bilirakis
FL Ginny Brown-Waite
FL Tom Feeney
FL Rick Keller
IL Judy Biggert
IL Tim Johnson
IL Peter Roskam
IL Jerry Weller
LA Rodney Alexander
MI Joseph Knollenberg
MI Thaddeus McCotter
MI Tim Walberg
MN Michelle Bachman
MO Sam Graves
NJ Rodney Frelinghuysen
NJ Scott Garrett
NJ Jim Saxton
NY Randy Kuhl
OH Steve Chabot
OR Greg Walden
PA John Peterson
TX Kay Granger
VA Thelma Drake
VA Randy Forbes

Republicans Who Didn't Vote
CA Wally Herger
WY Barbara Cubin


If you care about kids' health, what are you waiting for?