RESULTS Commends Reauthorization of Children’s Health Bill
Urges Obama, Congress to tackle broader healthcare reform
Washington, DC (February 4, 2009) — RESULTS Educational Fund today commended the United States Congress and President Barack Obama for reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP): legislation that provides healthcare for millions of the nation's uninsured children. While families struggle to pay their bills during the current economic downturn, never has it been more important for a long-term, fully funded healthcare solution for children. SCHIP provides regular checkups, immunizations, doctor's visits, and hospital care to children who otherwise would lack these services.
"RESULTS applauds Congress for realizing that easing the healthcare burden of working families by providing more children with access to decent care is an easy and direct way to help Americans through this economic crisis," Joanne Carter, executive director of RESULTS, said. "We also applaud President Obama for recognizing, as he said today, that children's health reauthorization is an important first step toward covering all Americans."
This new SCHIP reauthorization is similar to the bill passed in 2007 but twice vetoed by President Bush. It is anticipated to cover 4.1 million additional children. A significant improvement over the 2007 bill is removal of the five-year waiting period for documented immigrant children and pregnant women. This provision is welcome news to states that were already providing health care for legal immigrant children at their own cost.
Despite Congress' achievement in reauthorizing SCHIP, far too many people remain underinsured and uninsured. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 46 million Americans lacked health insurance coverage in 2007, including 8 million children. Even more troubling is that as insurance premiums skyrocket, many small businesses can no longer afford to provide coverage for their employees. These employees are often left with no other option for insurance coverage and go uninsured.
"The reauthorization of SCHIP is a step in the right direction," said Carter. "While President Obama's continued support for health care reform is encouraging, it is important that Americans demand that public programs like Medicare and Medicaid are expanded within the economic recovery package. We are hopeful that the president will continue working with Congress to develop a public health insurance plan that ensures every American has access to the quality health care they deserve."
RESULTS is working to make health care for all by 2010 a national priority through the efforts of grassroots activists, coalition work, and supporting champions in Congress. Focusing on mobilizing for affordable and quality health care and building support for measures to address racial health disparities, RESULTS believes that health care for all can become a reality. For more information, visit RESULTS' Health Care for All Campaign page.