Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined Senator John Rockefeller, Gerald Smith, Associate Director of the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations, and student artist Muhammad Ibrahim at a press conference today to discuss Democrats’ efforts to strengthen the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Democrats are working to pass a bill similar to the ones vetoed by President Bushlast Congress that will improve the lives of low-income, uninsured children by ensuring they get the doctor visits and medicines they need when they’re sick and the checkups they need to stay well. The event also featured artwork submitted by students from around the nation highlighting the importance providing health coverage to children.
“CHIP is a critical program as states begin to run out of money for children’s health care – in the state of Nevada alone more than 100,000 children remain uninsured,” Reid said. “We will enact a bipartisan bill that improves the lives of uninsured children by ensuring they get the doctor visits and medicines they need when they’re sick and the checkups they need to stay well. Not only is passing CHIP the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.”
Said Rockefeller: “This isn’t about politics, this is about children and it’s about doing what’s right. With our nation’s economy in crisis and Americans facing the uncertainty that comes with losing their jobs and their health insurance, health care coverage for all children is more important than ever before. Medicaid and CHIP are a critical safety net for working families and their children during these extremely hard economic times. In the years since we created CHIP, millions of America’s children have received needed, and in many instances life-saving, care. It is time to provide that vital coverage to even more of our children, including legal immigrant children. I am eager to finally finish this important mission and give nearly 11 million children the care they need and deserve.”
“The art exhibited here showcases why health care is so important for children, from the kids themselves,” Smith said. “The pieces are a result of conversations between teachers, parents, after school tutors, and community organizers engaging students in conversations about who gets health care and what happens to those who don’t. We look forward to continuing to engage the community, Congress, and the new administration as we move towards the day when everyone in the country has access to the highest quality, affordable health care that everyone deserves.”
Said Ibrahim: “I wanted to enter the exhibit so that I could make a difference. I believe that we should all be able to go to a doctor. I can go because of my parents. But some kids can’t and that’s not fair."