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Report: VA Needs “Immunization” for Children’s Insurance

September 17, 2007

Alexandria, VA – According to a new report from the Virginia-based children's advocacy group, First Focus, the state is losing ground faster than most when it comes to children going without health insurance. First Focus President Bruce Lesley says the surest way to reverse the trend is through renewal and expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).

"We have now seen a two-year trend of increasing the number of uninsured children. I know that Governor Kaine is making some efforts to try to improve that, so passing the State Children's Health Insurance Program renewal is essential. The state can't do it without the federal funding."

Congress has agreed coverage should be expanded to include more children but, according to Lesley, a veto is looming from President Bush. The White House is against expanding S-CHIP because of concerns it would undercut the private insurance market. Lesley adds that when Congress first enacted its state coverage, it reduced the number of uninsured kids by one-third, ground that has since been lost.

The full report is available online at

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - VA