SCHIP, Sojourners & Bush

A letter about a meeting between President Bush and several religious leaders in Austin shortly after his election is featured on SOJOnet, the email newsletter of Sojourners. It’s a revealing account of the President’s desire early on to find ways to combat poverty through faith-based efforts. The threatened veto of SCHIP seems a 180-degree turn, as Jim Wallis of Sojourners points out. The Sojourners blog is here but it doesn’t contain the email letter. That is a subscription worth getting.

The Washington Post summarizes Senate reaction to the veto threat including strong comments against it by leading Republican Senators such as Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Reacting to the President’s claim the bill would subsidize families earning as much as $83,000, the Post reports on Hatch’s reaction as follows:

Hatch, who helped negotiate the compromise, said it is flatly untrue that the bill would cover children in households with incomes of as much as $83,000. A recent Urban Institute analysis found that 70 percent of the children who would gain or retain coverage under the Senate bill, which resembles the compromise, are in households with incomes below twice the poverty level, or $41,300 for a family of four.

“We’re talking about kids who basically don’t have coverage,” Hatch said. “I think the president’s had some pretty bad advice on this.”

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