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Thursday, October 4, 2007
McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion
CAMDEN, South Carolina (CNN) -- Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told CNN Wednesday he agrees with President Bush's veto of legislation expanding a children's health insurance program, saying the bill provided a "phony smoke and mirrors way of paying for it."
"Right call by the president," the Republican White House hopeful told CNN's John King. "We've laid a debt on these same children ... that we're saying we're going to give health insurance to."
The bill, which would cost $35 billion over five years, is meant to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program to provide coverage to an additional 10 million children.
Bush said he vetoed the bill because he considered it a step towards "federalizing" medicine and an inappropriately expanding the program's goal beyond its original focus on helping poor children.
During an interview onboard the CNN Election Express in South Carolina, McCain said he agreed with the president's decision.
"The American people have rebelled against out-of-control spending. If they can find a legitimate way to pay for it, I would consider it," he said.
Expanding the program to cover children in families up to 400 percent of the poverty line would an "unfunded liability," the Arizona Republican said. "Just like the Medicare prescription drug program."
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