[House Document 110-80]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


110th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 110-80

                       VETO MESSAGE ON H.R. 3963







               December 13, 2007.--Ordered to be printed
To the House of Representatives:
    I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 3963, the 
``Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 
2007.'' Like its predecessor, H.R. 976, this bill does not put 
poor children first and it moves our country's health care 
system in the wrong direction. Ultimately, our Nation's goal 
should be to move children who have no health insurance to 
private coverage--not to move children who already have private 
health insurance to government coverage. As a result, I cannot 
sign this legislation.
    The purpose of the State Children's Health Insurance 
Program (SCHIP) was to help low-income children whose families 
were struggling, but did not qualify for Medicaid, to get the 
health care coverage that they needed. My Administration 
strongly supports reauthorization of SCHIP. That is why in 
February of this year I proposed a 5-year reauthorization of 
SCHIP and a 20 percent increase in funding for the program.
    Some in the Congress have sought to spend more on SCHIP 
than my budget proposal. In response, I told the Congress that 
I was willing to work with its leadership to find any 
additional funds necessary to put poor children first, without 
raising taxes.
    The leadership in the Congress has refused to meet with my 
Administration's representatives. Although they claim to have 
made ``substantial changes'' to the legislation, H.R. 3963 is 
essentially identical to the legislation that I vetoed in 
October. The legislation would still shift SCHIP away from its 
original purpose by covering adults. It would still include 
coverage of many individuals with incomes higher than the 
median income in the United States. It would still result in 
government health care for approximately 2 million children who 
already have private health care coverage. The new bill, like 
the old bill, does not responsibly offset its new and 
unnecessary spending, and it still raises taxes on working 
    Because the Congress has chosen to send me an essentially 
identical bill that has the same problems as the flawed bill I 
previously vetoed, I must veto this legislation, too. I 
continue to stand ready to work with the leaders of the 
Congress, on a bipartisan basis, to reauthorize the SCHIP 
program in a way that puts poor children first; moves adults 
out of a program meant for children; and does not abandon the 
bipartisan tradition that marked the original enactment of the 
SCHIP program. In the interim, I call on the Congress to extend 
funding under the current program to ensure no disruption of 
services to needy children.

                                                    George W. Bush.
    The White House, December 12, 2007.