SCHIP: Bush Wins; Republicans Lose.

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We’ve discussed before why this is a fight President Bush is likely to regret having won–and why millions of uninsured children are likely to regret it even more. Now, with House passage of the children’s health insurance bill having fallen about two dozen votes short of a veto-proof majority, it appears the bill is indeed headed for doom because of what Bush’s HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt has called “the ideologic question.

Democrats have been handed what could be a powerful issue going into an election year in which health care ranks at the top of voters’ domestic concerns. The bill got 45 Republican votes in the House–a sharp increase from the five who supported the original House version of the bill and more than some of its sponsors expected. That isn’t much consolation to all those children, though. Which is why Nancy Pelosi vows this won’t be the end of it:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) vowed to keep sending the legislation back to Bush until he relented. “This fight will not end this week or next,” she said. “This legislation will haunt him again and again and again. . . . We will continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to put bills on the president’s desk and see how long he can hold a veto-proof majority.”