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U.S. House Action Would Cover More PA Kids

January 15, 2009

Washington, D.C. - Many more children in Pennsylvania will get quality health care if the U.S. Senate and the new president approve a measure passed by the House this week. Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack said the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) has very solid support across a wide spectrum.

"There's a really good chance that this legislation will get done at or around the time that the incoming president, Barack Obama is inaugurated."

Pollack estimates S-CHIP would reduce the number of Pennsylvania's uncovered children by 59 percent.

"In the Keystone State, it will add coverage for approximately 129,000 children."

The measure provides new funding to the states to continue covering 7 million children and to expand health coverage to more than 4 million uninsured children. Pollack added that the bill would do a lot, but much more remains to be done.

"It will still leave more than 4 million children who are uninsured. This should be viewed as only a down-payment, but the legislation passed Wednesday, when enacted, will be the largest expansion of health coverage in a dozen years."

Opponents say S-CHIP is too expensive and could undermine private insurance companies.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - PA