Rich Galen

"President Bush yesterday vetoed a $35 billion expansion of a popular children's health insurance program, a move that left him as politically isolated as he has ever been and had even Republican allies questioning his hard-line strategy."

* President Bush made it clear that he wanted the Congress to send him a re-authorized SCHIP program which he could sign, but Democrats sent up a bill which the White House had warned was veto-bait.

* Why? So they could set up this exact discussion: Bush will argue in favor of tax cuts for the rich, while he vetoes health care for poor children.

* No main stream medium will write this, but the reality of the situation is: Congressional Democrats were willing to trade the health of children to score political points against the President.

* It is also true that if they can expand coverage to families up to 400% of the poverty line and individuals up to the age of 25, Democrats can go to 800% of poverty ($160,000 per year) and individuals up to 65 (when Medicare kicks in).

* National. Health. Insurance.

* I told a New York Times reporter when I was called about the political impact of the President's veto that for many - if not most - Republican primary voters, this expansion of the SCHIP program was not a step down the slippery slope of national health care - it was a four man bobsled on an Olympic run.

* He didn't use the quote.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at