Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt has recently launched a blog. Today he offers the administration’s view on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization bill, which President Bush recently vetoed.
Sec. Leavitt says that he writes his own posts. So far he’s blogging about once a week. Here’s an excerpt from today’s post on the SCHIP veto:
“My week has been focused on the reauthorization of SCHIP. This is playing out about the way I expected it would thus far. Some months ago, the Democratic leadership in Congress made clear they were going to send the President an SCHIP bill he would have to veto. Likewise, the President made clear he would veto any bill that didn’t focus on poor children as the primary priority, or that motivated middle income people with private insurance to cancel it to get on a government program. The bill Congress passed violates both principles. So, the President did exactly as he said he would and vetoed it.”
“Now, the leadership of Congress has decided to put the override vote off for two weeks. During that period we will hear a lot of political rhetoric but in the end the veto will be sustained. When that occurs we can get down to the business of solving this problem. Demagoguery is a politic ritual in situations like this that just has to be endured.”
He continues with further discussion of the budget numbers debate:
“The policy differences between the two sides are real and more complicated than a duel between two competing budget numbers. President Bush made clear when we can find a solution to our policy differences he is willing to work with Congress in finding additional money, if necessary.”