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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Gregoire: state’s effort to cover more children at risk…

Washington – which gets a 50 percent match from the feds – is trying to provide state-run health coverage to kids in families earning up to 300 percent of poverty by 2009.

But a recent ruling by the federal Department of Health and Human Services throws that whole effort into question, Gov. Chris Gregoire said yesterday. Congress is trying to hash out a veto-proof effort to protect states' efforts to insure more children.

The Bush administration's move has clearly annoyed Gregoire. From her weekly press conference yesterday:

"The bad news is the administration…I couldn't be more chagrined at the letter that we received here recently from Health and Human Services that basically said no, we're not going to let you fund anything over 200 percent…I think their message was we're going to abandon the children of this country. I just, it's beyond me. The values in this letter are so beyond anything that this country stands for…What they've done is virtually valueless, turned their back on the children of this country."

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.