"ABSOLUTELY IMMORAL." That's what Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi just called President Bush's assertion that he won't sign off on the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program because he's worried children currently covered by employer-provided health insurance would become eligible for the public plan. The Senate's plan uses cigarette taxes to cover 10 million kids, the vast majority of whom currently have no health insurance at all. And S-CHIP pays private companies to insure these children, so the loss to the private sector--as if that would even compare to children's health -- would be negligible.

"What gives me hope is that Republican governors support S-CHIP," Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) told me. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, told TAPPED, "People saw the minimum wage as an issue of fairness. People view children going without health care as the same kind of issue. It's an issue of values, and I think that will overwhelm the president's opposition."

--Dana Goldstein

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