Friday, 24 May 2024


WASHINGTON – Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) last week joined a majority in the House of Representatives in support of bipartisan legislation to provide health care to 11 million children from working families.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2) was approved by a vote of 289-139.

The bill is very similar to the legislation that President Bush vetoed twice in the 110th Congress.

“Investing in children’s health care is one of the wisest choices our federal government can make,” Thompson said during a speech on the House of Representatives floor. “Children have to be healthy to get an education and achieve their full potential as adults. When kids see the doctor more regularly, they receive the preventive services that keep them healthier longer – and they are less likely to end up in the emergency room, which saves everyone money.”

Thompson said almost a million and a quarter children in California are uninsured, which he called “simply unacceptable.”

He said that, in contrast to President Bush’s multiple vetoes of similar bills, President-elect Obama gave his enthusiastic support to providing coverage for 4 million additional children. “That is truly change we can believe in,” Thompson said.

SCHIP was created in 1997 to provide health care coverage for children in families that earn too little to afford health insurance for their children but too much to qualify for Medicaid.

The bill passed last week by the House of Representatives reauthorizes SCHIP through 2013 and preserves the coverage for all 7.1 million children currently covered by SCHIP, including 1,538,416 children in California.

Thompson's office has previously estimated that 1,600 Lake County children will receive coverage under the legislation.

The bill also extends health care coverage to 4.1 million additional low-income children, who are currently uninsured. The bill is fully paid for.

This bipartisan bill has been endorsed by dozens of organizations, representing millions of Americans – ranging from business groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses and Business Roundtable to the American Hospital Association, AARP and Families USA.


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