SCHIP compromise posturing drags on

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A compromise over a U.S. healthcare program for children didn't appear imminent Sunday as Democratic and Republican congressmen stood their ground.

Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," Rep.Adam Putnam, R-Fla., defended President George Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, saying the focus of the healthcare program should stay on poor children, not expanded or diverted to other areas.


Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., called Bush's position "indefensible," saying "even the Christian right would believe that investing in our young people's health is not only the moral thing to do."

Rangel seemed to indicate Democrats have compromised enough, asking for $7 billion for five years when the president is asking Congress for $200 billion a year for the war in Iraq.

"This is a telling statement that he's more interested in playing political games than in compromising," Putnam said, saying differences between the two parties could be solved "easily in less than two weeks" if Rangel "would just sit down and work with us."

"It's games like this that is the reason why Congress has a 14 percent approval rating," Putnam said. "It doesn't have to be this say."


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