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Spitzer Joins Other States in Suing Bush Administration over Children's Health Insurance

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – New York and seven other states have filed separate lawsuits against the Bush administration's proposed changes to federal rules that the states say will force poor children to lose health coverage.

The lawsuit is another battle between Democrats and the Bush administration over a children's health care program, known as SCHIP.

The SCHIP reauthorization bill passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress last week would roll back these new rules. President Bush has promised to veto the legislation.

Governor Spitzer says he wants to protect health insurance for all New York children.

"I join with Governors from states across the country in urging the President to do the right thing by signing this important legislation," Spitzer said. "If this bill does not become law, we will proceed with our lawsuit. Our kids deserve nothing less."

Nationwide, the program covers 6.6 children from modest-income families that aren't poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. Democrats want to expand it by $35 billion, funded by new tobacco taxes.

There are an estimated 400,000 uninsured children in New York.