The Numbers Don’t Lie

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Published: October 11, 2007

New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer chose Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) to discuss his new children’s healthcare policy and his policy to give driver’s licenses to undocumented workers.  The Fordham community welcomed the press conference, which took place in the Leon Lowenstein building on Oct. 2.  Some of the attendees said that Spitzer’s speech was inspiring and that it brought them hope during a troubling time.

The following day, however, President Bush vetoed the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which would increase the number of children receiving free healthcare from 6.6 million to 10 million, citing that he wanted to develop a better bill that helped “poorer children first,” according to The New York Times.

We’d like to put something in perspective for you.  An article in The Washington Post stated that we spend $500,000 per minute on the Iraq War.  The expanded SCHIP plan would have cost an additional $35 billion over the next five years.  After doing some careful mathematics with those numbers, we discovered that we spend $35 billion on the Iraq War in 48.6 days or just under seven weeks.

If we stopped the Iraq War for 49 days, we could save enough money for 10 million American children to have free healthcare.  Better yet, if the war ended, we would have plenty of money to pay for the healthcare bill and possibly have some left over to spend on additional healthcare programs that could benefit other groups such as college students.  Many of us wish that the war was over. The children’s healthcare policy statistic gives us another reason why we need to move away from the war and start paying attention to what is happening with our future generations.

Children are our future, so goes the popular saying.  They are the next generation that will keep the world going.  Why wouldn’t we want to provide them with the healthcare necessary for their survival?  By vetoing the bill, it makes Bush look like he cares more about the Iraq War than our children and our future.  He says he wants to come up with something better.  But we’d like to see Bush put his money where his mouth is.  He says he will create a bill better suited for America’s poorest children, but will he do it?  Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President.  Now is his time to take action, considering his time in office is coming to an end.