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Max Baucus on the CHIP Veto Override

Senate Finance Committee Chariman Max Baucus delivered this weeks Democratic Radio Address. The text of the radio address appears below:

max_baucus.jpgGood morning, this is Sen. Max Baucus from Montana.

For those of us who are parents, one of life's greatest privileges and responsibilities is to give our children the chance for a better life than we had. From sporting events, to vacations, to graduations, even first dates, watching our children grow up is the greatest, and at times scariest, experience of our life. And as a parent there is nothing worse than seeing your son or daughter in pain.

[Click the black triangle to play the audio]

In my home state of Montana, a mother named Fawn Tuhy knows this well. When Fawn's daughter Abigail was two, Abigail fell down and split her head open. She had to have nine stitches. That same year, Abigail's 6-year-old brother broke his arm twice. Abigail and her two siblings get good medical care because they are among the six and a half million children covered by CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program.

CHIP paid for Abigail's stitches. CHIP covered her brother's surgery and hospital stay. And through CHIP, Abigail gets the immunizations and checkups she needs to stay well.

For all the talk about partisanship and gridlock in Washington, CHIP has been an amazing example of what government can do when we work together.

Ten years ago, I was part of a team of Democrats and Republicans who sat down together to create the CHIP program. We realized that giving kids the medical care they need isn't a Democratic priority or a Republican priority. Its an American priority.

This year, we worked together again to make CHIP even better. Our new extension of CHIP would increase the number of eligible kids by more than three million -- including 12,000 in my home state of Montana. Its hard to imagine the president telling millions of parents they don't deserve the same basic care for their kids that the president had for his. But that is exactly what he did. And now its up to Congress to come together and override his veto.

Many Republicans have already committed to stand by their vote for CHIP. But many have not. Now, every Republican must decide whether they will stand with the president and his veto -- or stand with our children and their right to a healthy future.

So for Abigail Tuhy, and the 12,000 children from Montana waiting for coverage, and for the millions more from coast to coast who need CHIP, I ask you to tell your senators and member of Congress to override President Bush's veto. This is America. All our children should be able to see a doctor.

This is Sen. Max Baucus from Montana. All the best.

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