In an effort to explain his veto of the bill reauthorizing SCHIP (article), the State Children's Health Insurance Program, The Decider repeated his objection that the $35 billion expansion was both too costly and could potentially add children whose parents can afford private insurance to state rolls or, worse yet, that some adults might even be covered. In a statement so ironic that it would be comic if the stakes were not so high, The Decider intoned, "Poor kids first." But Bush's actual commitment, certainly more fervently held than his concern for the poor ,was expressed in his follow-up comment, "Secondly, I believe in private medicine, not the federal government running the health care system."
As a person of strong core beliefs and convictions, I can hardly object to the presence of such staunchness in another person, right? I have to respect and even admire that the President recognizes that the buck stops with him, whatever the polls say, right? Wrong!
I am weary of Bush's upside-down convictions. In his warped imagination, stem cell research using soon-to-be-discarded embryos is indefensible. Torture of suspects who have not yet been convicted of anything is a necessary evil. $190 billion for the war effort in 2008, funded God knows how for God knows how long, is advisable. $35 billion dollars over 5 years for children's health insurance, funded by additional cigarette taxation is too expensive.
When asked during the 2000 election presidential primary season what political philosopher he admired most, Bush cited Jesus Christ because "he changed my heart." I guess this is the same heart that believes in private medicine. It doesn't take much heart for a man who has always had access to health care to believe in the system that provides it for him. Real heart, as in the kind that produces compassion, induces a person to examine systems on the basis of who is left out. Perhaps Bush got confused by the King James Version's antiquated language and thought that when Jesus said "Suffer the little children" he meant "make the children suffer."
Whatever has caused this misguided presidential veto, I pray to the Jesus who loves all of the children that the Congress will override it.