In his speech to the Republican National Convention, President Bush announced a $1 billion plan to enroll poor children in government health-insurance programs. But at the end of September, the Bush administration returned $1.1 billion in unspent children's-health funds to the Treasury. As a result, six states participating in the State Children's Health Insurance Program will not be able to meet their budgets in 2005. According to two analyses by advocacy organizations, the federal money could have provided health coverage for 750,000 uninsured children. The National Governors Association and a bipartisan group of legislators had asked for an extension on SCHIP spending, but Bush refused to include such an extension in the budget.
During his speech at the convention, Bush said that "in a new term, we will lead an aggressive effort to enroll millions of poor children who are eligible but not signed up for the government's health insurance programs. We will not allow a lack of attention, or information, to stand between these children and the health care they need." It is projected that 17 states will run out of SCHIP funds by 2007.
(Source: Ceci Connolly, "Words, Actions at Odds on Children's Health Care," Washington Post, September 25, 2004. See article at: washingtonpost.com.)
McSweeney's "Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush"