NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE DEMOCRATS CONDEMN PASSAGE OF HARMFUL HEALTHY KIDS AMENDMENT

FORIMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Molly Cowan

P: 603 271-3077

F: 603 271-3027

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

CONCORD , NH- New Hampshire's Democratic Senators fought to defeat changes to the successful Healthy Kids Program, which might result in future cost increases to participating New Hampshire families.

"New Hampshire Healthy Kids is working well, "noted Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen, District 15. "Currently, the Healthy Kids program is insuring over 71,000 New Hampshire children, who would otherwise be uninsured. SB 374 was originally filed to ensure that the full appropriation approved by the Legislature for fiscal year 2006 would be used to avoid a $5 per child per month premium increase."

The amendment proposed and supported by Senate Republicans does not provide adequate funding in 2007, which would cause an increase in premiums for children enrolled in Healthy Kids Silver, and will significantly reduce Healthy Kids out reach and enrollment.

While the Senate Finance Committee expressed its intent to fund every eligible child for the Healthy Kids Silver program, the amendment passed by the Majority leaves unused $150,000 in federal funds, which would ensure that no needy family in New Hampshire faces a rate increase.

"Healthy Kids Corporation takes its mission to heart and has worked diligently to foster one of the most successful public-private partnerships in the history of New Hampshire," concluded Sen. Larsen. "We should not let the passage of this egregious amendment disparage the good work this organization has done. We need to insure more kids under Healthy Kids, not bicker about a program that works."