The good news is that the House passed the SCHIP reauthorization bill. The bad news is that the 265-159 vote margin is not going to be enough to override a veto. Congress will presumably include SCHIP in the continuing resolution that it will need to pass by September 1, and it will continue at current levels until at least sometime next year, probably until 2009. That's going to mean real cuts in some states.
Here's the roll call. What immediately jumped out at me is that my representative, Tom Davis, is one of the Republicans who voted against the original House bill but for the compromise bill. I had been wondering about that after getting his response to my email plea for SCHIP last week, which said, in part:
"H.R. 3162 was not SCHIP. It was an excessive expansion of a good program, an expansion that could undermine the program's effectiveness and a backdoor effort to move toward government run health care....
Given the wide range of problems with this legislation I voted against it when it came before me in the House. It passed, however, by a vote of 225-204. The Senate passed a narrower expansion of the SCHIP program. I am hopeful that as we proceed to a conference we will return to the core principles established in the original SCHIP."
I assume that Davis is going to run for the Senate seat that John Warner is vacating. I think this vote will hurt him in the Republican primary, but help him in the general election if he gets nominated. Or maybe I'm being too cynical -- many Republican voters support health care for kids too.
Added: I heard this afternoon that there's been another recall of Thomas trains for lead-based paint. Unlike the first go-around, we do have some of the affected pieces, and will send them in for an exchange. But I still wish that the American public was half as outraged about SCHIP as it is about lead in toys. Nick Anderson got it right a month ago.