Bush's preference for allowing poor kids to get sick and die for his own ideological obsession is a fundamental fact of his presidency and of the Republican Party's guiding ideology.
Well, it's certainly strong stuff. Here's Brendan's bit:
Needless to say, Alterman does not know and certainly cannot prove that Bush has a "preference for allowing poor kids to get sick and die." He's describing his prediction of the veto's results as Bush's "preference." That's like saying Alterman's support for withdrawal from Iraq represents his "preference" for genocide or full-blown civil war (two of the worst possible outcomes that could result).
It might sound like Alterman is just being shrill, calling Bush a child-killer or something such, but actually his statement is completely right. When Bush announced his veto, he explained it by saying that he doesn't believe public healthcare is a good thing, and that privatized healthcare is the way to go. He is depriving children of healthcare due to his obsession with privatizing everything. You could certainly and truthfully characterize that as a preference for private healthcare at all costs. No, it doesn't mean that he desires that children get sick and die, but it does mean that privatized healthcare is more important to him.