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Congress Considers Children's Health Coverage - 28 Thousand in WV

June 20, 2007

Washington, DC - Over 9 million American kids, including more than 28,000 in West Virginia, would get health coverage, under a plan being considered by Congress. The All Healthy Children Act would give more kids access to health care and preventive treatment, and make it easier for families to sign up and get the care for their children. The West Virginia Primary Care Association has joined a nationwide coalition in support of the plan. The association’s director, Phil Schenk, says kids without health insurance either go without medical care, or get it in at emergency rooms which ends up costing everyone much more.

“Every time that we can keep a child or an adult out of an emergency room, we're saving big dollars for all of us.”

Schenk sees preventive health care as especially important for the growing number of kids dealing with conditions like obesity and asthma and argues that health coverage also helps kids develop a healthy lifestyle and making sure all kids have coverage prevents a lot of problems down the road.

“Health care is something that you work on all the time, and the place to teach people that is at that early age. And of course preventive care, looking at getting the check-up and seeing things before they get serious, that's what we're trying to do.”

The White House is against the idea and believes that expanding the children's insurance program costs too much, and goes beyond the original scope of the program.

Rob Ferrett/Mandy Walker, Public News Service - WV