The House of Representatives failed today to override President Bush’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The bill would have added $35 billion to the program over the next five years and increased coverage from 6 million to 10 million children.

Law stipulates a two-thirds majority is required to override a veto. While the bill had bipartisan support, the vote to override the veto was 13 votes short of the necessary majority. The bill easily passed in the Senate.

The House and Senate are also developing a Medicare physician payment bill with the intention of including it as part of a comprehensive year-end spending bill. The bill includes $20 billion in provisions over five years to avert a 15 percent cut to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), and provides 0.5 percent updates to physician payments in 2008 and 2009.

According to reports the House and Senate would like to pass the bill by the November 16 adjournment date, but there is speculation Congress will be working in December on this legislation.