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As “Cover The Uninsured” Week Begins, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke Calls For Expanding Health Coverage Of America’s Children

On Monday, the first day of “Cover the Uninsured Week,” Rep. Yvette D. Clarke stated that a top priority of the new Congress, as it reauthorizes the landmark State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), is to significantly expand the health care coverage of America’s children.

“Nationally, 9 million children are without health insurance” said Rep. Clarke.  “In New York, over 400,000 children are currently uninsured.  This disturbing statistic highlights the importance of federal programs like SCHIP.” 

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program û or “SCHIP” û was established by Congress in 1997 to expand health care coverage for children.  It provides matching funds to states to help them provide health care coverage for children living in families that are earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance.  Since its creation in 1997, SCHIP has been a successful, cost-effective program.  Currently, more than 6 million American children are enrolled in SCHIP.

“After SCHIP was created, the number of children without health insurance began to fall every year,” pointed out Rep. Yvette D. Clarke. “But last year, the number of uninsured children actually went up for the first time in nearly a decade.  Under President Bush’s FY08 budget, New York would lose nearly $15 million in SCHIP funding to protect our children’s health.” 

“This summer, Congress has a duty to pass a strong SCHIP reauthorization bill,” said Rep. Clarke, “one that protects the children currently enrolled and covers more uninsured children in New York.”