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PNS Daily Newscast - September 30, 2020 

Trump and Biden square off in a debate marked by interruptions; COVID-19 highlights neglect of undocumented residents.

2020Talks - September 30, 2020 

Last night was filled with interruptions at the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Health Care for All Kids - At What Price?

July 20, 2007

A Senate committee has taken up legislation to renew a program, known as S-Chip, that provides health coverage to the nation's poorest kids. It has bipartisan support, but President Bush says he'll veto it, citing its cost. Minnesota spokesman Marc Kimball says too many kids are on their own.

"Nine million kids across the country are going without key check-ups, key immunizations. And, it'll affect them later on in life, how well they do in school. It'll affect our future workforce. It affects our families."

He says 83,000 Minnesota kids don't have health insurance. President Bush argues that the $35-billion price tag is too much, and it would expand the role of the federal government at the expense of private insurance. The existing program expires in September.

Kimball points out that there's plenty of research showing kids with access to medical coverage do better in school, later in life, and in the workforce, and are less of a burden on the health care system.

"If a child does not have health insurance, he's less likely to go to the doctor when he needs to - when he's sick or hurt. Lots of times, kids end up in an emergency room because they've let a problem go until it becomes much worse than it should have been. And, it then becomes much, much more expensive. We all pay for that."

The House plans to pass a version of the bill before its August recess. The current S-Chip law expires Sept. 30. It helps provide health coverage to low-income children whose families don't quality for Medicaid but can't afford private insurance.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN