Good medicine

The Baltimore Sun

Monday was a particularly embarrassing day for President Barack Obama. His nominee for health care czar, Tom Daschle, withdrew from consideration after a tax problem, a dust-up that forced a first presidential "I messed up."

Yesterday, President Obama had the chance to improve the lives of millions of low-income children in this country. He signed into law a bill that will extend health care insurance to kids whose families can't afford it. That should count as a particularly satisfying day.

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was twice vetoed by President George W. Bush. As a senator, Mr. Obama supported the bill, which will fund health care for an additional 4 million children who are not now enrolled in the program. It's a tangible example of how a change in the White House has brought about meaningful change for America's most vulnerable citizens.

Maryland children - about 110,000 enrolled in the state's version of the program and an additional 42,800 who will now be eligible - can be assured of health care.

Reform of the nation's health care system will be a long, arduous endeavor. In the interim, however, the children's health program will be one way to bridge the gap for many in need.

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