Friday, February 06, 2009

President signs SCHIP

I am proud to announce the passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization, which will play an important role in expanding access to health care for many of the nations most vulnerable children.

This was a victory for the health and welfare of 11 million American children. For too long the previous Administration stood between 11 million children and the health care they desperately need. As we are talking daily of economic recovery, I can’t think of a better future endowment than investing in the health and welfare of 11 million children.

The House approved the measure this week by a vote of 290 to 135 and it was signed into law by President Obama the same day. The Senate passed the legislation last week.
As my friend Charles Rangel, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee said, “What a difference a President makes.”

Studies confirm that uninsured racial and ethnic minority children are more likely than uninsured white children to have unmet health care needs, to lack a usual source of care, and to consequently suffer worse health outcomes.

More than 80 percent of currently uninsured African-American children and 70 percent of currently uninsured Hispanic children are eligible for SCHIP, but they are not enrolled in the program. SCHIP helps to level this playing field.