Washington, DC— Democratic SenatorsMax Baucus, Debbie Stabenow and Robert Menendez joined Marcia Greenberger, Founder and Co-President, National Women’s Law Center, and Debra Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families, at a press conference this morning to discuss Democrats’ efforts to strengthen the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The Children’s Health Insurance Program is critical as states begin to run out of money for children’s health care, and every time the national unemployment rate goes up one point, 700,000 more children lose their coverage. 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.
“CHIP gets kids in low-income working families the doctor’s visits and medicines they need when they’re sick, and the checkups they need to stay well, and the bipartisan Finance Committee agreement to renew CHIP is the right answer for kids who need health care,” Baucus said. “Congress must put kids first. And Senators who care about children must vote for to renew and expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”
Said Stabenow: “Something is wrong in this country when hard working families don’t have access to quality, affordable health care. Democrats are ready to fix it. This bill is a major step forward in our effort to make sure every child in America gets the health care they need.”
“In these tough economic times, state governments are being hit hard—and state programs for children’s health are starting to run out,” Menendez said. “Now more than ever, we need to expand our efforts to make sure no child goes to bed at night without health care in the greatest country on earth.”
Said Greenberger: “Reauthorizing CHIP will ensure that moms can take their sick children to the doctor when they need to, and will lay a critical foundation towards achievement of our ultimate goal: reforming our health care system so that all people have guaranteed access to quality, affordable, comprehensive health care.”
“The Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009 is absolutely critical not just to children, not just to families, but also to our economic recovery,” Ness said. “In order to give families real economic security, we have to reform health care – and that begins by covering children.”