It is no surprise that the Albuquerque Tribune, the city’s left-leaning newspaper, slammed President Bush for vetoing SCHIP expansion. What is interesting is one of the arguments the paper uses in its rebuke:
It’s a truly stunning action, when you consider that the federal debt has nearly doubled during Bush’s deficit-spending tenure, which has been everything but fiscally responsible, let alone conservative. Now, when it comes to America’s children, the federal government cannot afford to insure them against illness or death.
The president essentially decided last week that it was more important to stave off further government intervention in the nation’s failing private health care system than to provide for the vital health care of 4 million more of America’s children.
Obviously, we at the Rio Grande Foundation have a different perspective on the matter as do most free market health care analysts. That said, Bush’s veto would have been far less of a political target if he’d maintained a consistent, fiscally-conservative stance throughout his presidency. Better late than never as far as we’re concerned, but it is politically-difficult for the President.