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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Bilbray Opposed to Federally-Funded Children’s Health Insurance Program

Congressional advocates of expanding the federally-funded Children Health Insurance Program will try to override President Bush's veto this week. San Diego Congressman Brian Bilbray says he doesn't support the effort. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Bilbray says he was one of the original supporters of the SCHIP program when Congress created it in the 1990's. But he says the proposed $60 billion expansion is one step towards socialized medicine.

Bilbray: My mother's from Australia. Half of my family is under socialized medicine. My uncle died because he wasn't treated for skin cancer for two years. I've seen what, you know, socialized medicine does.

Ted Lempert is president of the advocacy group Children Now . He says he doesn't understand Bilbray's argument.

Lempert: We're just trying to get kids insured.

Lempert says if the SCHIP program doesn't get more funding, hundreds of thousands of poor children in California could lose their health insurance.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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