Legislation will provide health care to more than 11 million children
Washington, D.C. –Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives urging her colleagues to support legislation that would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover 11 million children. The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act will protect coverage for the 7 million children currently enrolled, and expand it to include an additional 4 million children who would otherwise be uninsured. The Act passed the House and is now scheduled to go before the Senate.
“This vital program provides health insurance to children,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “No child in this country should ever have to suffer because their parents cannot afford health insurance. I urge members of the Senate to swiftly pass this bipartisan piece of legislation so we can guarantee these children have access to the medical care they need.”
The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act is fully paid for by raising the tobacco tax by 61 cents. Raising the tobacco tax also promotes children’s health, by discouraging them from smoking. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a 61-cent increase in the tobacco tax means that 1,873,000 fewer children will take up smoking.
The SCHIP program, which is known as the Healthy Kids Program in New Hampshire, provides health care coverage to children and families that make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private insurance. In New Hampshire alone, more than 12,000 children rely on SCHIP. President Bush twice vetoed SCHIP legislation during the 110th Congress.