In October, President Bush vetoed a bill that would add $35 billion to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), saying it would offer coverage to families who could afford their own health insurance. State officials say Bush's own plan would leave too many children without health insurance, and negotiations continue in Congress on a compromise bill.

American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-newsletter if they think the SCHIP bill went too far. Below are some of the responses.

“We need to somehow offer reasonably priced insurance, not no-cost insurance, to all without punishing those with expensive conditions they cannot control. Basing rates on age, sex and claims cannot continue.”
Barb Brady, city council member, Vermilion, Ohio

“[SCHIP] negotiations should focus on a real compromise that [enrolls most of the] uninsured population into some form of health plan and preventive disease management [program] that is income sensitive, [which is what] most states presently have in place for the working poor.”
Jay Gsell, county manager, Genesee County, N.Y.

“[If] the SCHIP expansion bill [does] extend coverage to children whose families make $80,000 annually, I would agree with the administration that not too many families in that income bracket are without family health insurance. If the expansion bill truly [insures] uninsured children from lower income families, then I would agree that the veto should be overridden.”
Carl Baxmeyer, planner and senior associate, Fanning Howey, Michigan City, Ind.

“I think we must wean people off of government aid. Use the money to land good jobs so that people can afford health insurance [instead of propping up low-income people]. The socialist idea is to take from the rich and give to the poor, [and], while [that] sounds good, it does not give the poor any reason to get out of poverty. I was raised in a poor family that only had income from my father's Social Security check, but all of my [11] brothers and sisters are fairly successful because we were taught the value of good, old-fashioned hard work!”
Clifton Beecher, public works director, Franklin, Ky.