Sunday, 19 May 2024

President signs children

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday President Barack Obama signed legislation into law that will provide health care to 11 million children from working families.


The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (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 signed by the president Wednesday 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 and an estimated 1,600 Lake County children.


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 is only the first step,” the president said. “As I see it, providing coverage for 11 million children is a down payment on my commitment to cover every single American.”


Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) was invited and attended the ceremony at the White House.


“Today change came to America as our country took the first major step towards reducing the number of children who don’t have health insurance,” Thompson said in a written statement. “The State Children’s Health Insurance Program has been an extraordinary success – over 1.5 million children in California get their health care through this program. However, over a million and a quarter kids are still uninsured in our state alone- which is just plain wrong.”


By signing the bipartisan bill into law, almost 700,000 uninsured children in California and 4 million uninsured children across the country will now have access to health care, said Thompson. “Our children deserve a healthy start and this legislation gives kids that chance.”


“Passage of SCHIP will result in hundreds of children in Lake County getting the health care they need and deserve,” said Gloria Flaherty, executive director of the Lake Family Resource Center. “This will mean healthier children, families and communities – and peace of mind for parents. We are proud of our congressman for his continued support and dedication to this cause, our president, for making children’s health a priority, and our country for recognizing that children’s health is important to all.”


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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