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A New Plan For 180,000 Colorado Kids Without Health Insurance

January 15, 2007

A new national campaign offers new ways to fill the gap of over 180,000 Colorado kids that are without health insurance. According to Marian Wright Edelman with the Children's Defense Fund, the goal is to combine the dual bureaucracies of Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) into a single system that takes better care of children.

"It's about trying to make sure that getting health insurance is simple, and make it automatic that children will be enrolled."

Bruce Atchison with the Colorado Children's Campaign says the expanding coverage would make a huge difference to uninsured Colorado kids.

"When kids have health insurance we know they're entering school more prepared to learn because they're entering school healthy, and if they don't have health insurance it can be detrimental."

Atchison says a key first step to reforming health care for children will be for Congress to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or S-CHIP, later this year.

The plan would also expand Medicaid eligibility for kids in working families. Many eligible kids don't receive coverage because of shortfalls in funding and difficult and large amounts of confusing paperwork.

The complete proposal on merging Medicaid and CHIP is at www.childrensdefense.org/site/PageServeragename=healthy_child_facts.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO