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Write a Letter-to-the-Editor on SCHIP Veto

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Last week we told you about the veto by President Bush of the bill that would reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program and expand its coverage to include 4 million more children of families that make too little to buy their own insurance.

This week we've launched a letter writing campaign through our web site so our members can join in the discussion of the Bush veto, which has sparked heated debate in local newspapers across our state and around the country.

The NC State AFL-CIO lobbied against funding the expansion of SCHIP on the backs of tobacco workers and their jobs through an increase in the federal tobacco excise tax. We lost that debate.

Even so, we believe that the reauthorization of SCHIP for the over 110,000 kids in NC who depend on it for their basic health care needs is too important not to support the legislation now before the Congress. Their health and the health of tens of thousands of other children still without coverage in our state depend on an override of Bush's callous veto.

We urge those of you reading this e-mail to go to and use the form to send your own letter to the editor in support of the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

At the letter writing campaign web site, we've provided a list of talking points you can use to help get you started. Letters only have to be 250 words or less. When you provide your zip code, our system will pull up a list of local newspapers in circulation in your area. You can choose to send your letter to one or to all of them.

The veto of SCHIP renewal means 6.6 million children of low-income families will lose their health care when funding expires on November 16 unless the Congress acts quickly to override. An additional 4 million children from low-middle income families that would have gained coverage will continue to go without any health insurance.

It takes a two-thirds majority to override a veto, but the 265 to 159 House vote falls about 25 votes short of what is needed.

An override will almost certainly count on two North Carolina Democrats who voted against SCHIP renewal - Rep. Bob Etheridge of the 2nd Congressional District and Rep. Mike McIntyre of the 7th CD.