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PNS Daily Newscast - August 3, 2020 

Negotiations to resume today on a COVID-19 relief package; advocates brace for surge in homeless Americans.

2020Talks - August 3, 2020 

Concerns about U.S. Postal Service delays and voter intimidation from voting rights advocates. Plus, Joe Biden calls for emergency housing legislation.

California Churches Unite For Uninsured Children

October 16, 2007

Nine million children who live without health insurance have become the focus of church groups throughout California, as more than 200 religious organizations and congregations across the country rally to call attention to the health insurance crisis. A plan that would make healthcare coverage available to some of the children, through reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), was vetoed recently by President Bush.

Now, all eyes are on the U.S. House of Representatives, which votes on a possible override of the veto on Thursday. In the meantime, churches are doing what they can. Shakeel Syed with the Islamic Shura Councilsays children are too precious to be denied healthcare benefits because of politics.

"We feel extremely frustrated; how can we caution those in power, those who make policies, to be mindful of the needs of our children throughout the country?"

Muslim doctors in Syed's congregation have opened a free health clinic to treat uninsured children in Southern California. Syed says most of the patients are young people, whose health problems would not have been so severe if affordable healthcare had been available to them at the times they needed it most.

Faith groups' focus on children is part of the Children's Defense Fund's 16th annual "Children's Sabbaths" event. CDF's Nina Moreno says millions of children nationwide will be affected by the outcome of Thursday's vote.

"It's important to know that without the legislature's additional funding, millions of low-income children risk losing healthcare, or even getting coverage at all."

In California, that includes about 250,000 kids, who may suddenly lose their state healthcare coverage if the S-CHIP veto stands.

Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Public News Service - CA