The Washington Post ran an article that was dated Wednesday, October 17, 2007 that was in a question and answer format about the State Children's Health Insurance Program. This particular question and answer is very important:
Q: How much additional money, on top of the $5 billion-a-year baseline funding, is needed to preserve the same size program over the next five years?
A: Keeping the program at current levels would require expanding funding by about $13.4 billion over five years, for total funding of $38.4 billion between 2008 to 2012, according to a CBO report in May. Part of the reason is rising medical costs. President Bush has proposed a $5 billion expansion, for total program funding of $30 billion over the next five years. He has said he might be willing to go higher. The bill Bush vetoed would increase funding by $35 billion over the five years, for a program total of $60 billion. Ultimately, it would cover 10 million people.
In other words Bush and the heartless, right-wing radical Republicans who control the Republican Party aren't willing to even fund the program at current levels. Democrats need to stress this point. They also need to come back with a funding proposal for about 18 months that raises the funding by an amount necessary to keep the coverage the same. It would actually be a lower cost than what Bush is requesting, because it would only cover children to the end of the Bush Administration, and a veto of that bill would be very hard for Republicans to defend.