Rep. Salazar announces reauthorization of SCHIP
Today the US House passed legislation to reauthorize the successful State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and protect the solvency of Medicare for America's seniors.
Created in 1997, SCHIP serves as a crucial health care safety net for low-income uninsured children. Over the last 10 years, the number of uninsured children in the country has been reduced by 1/3. Currently six million children have health care because of SCHIP. In Colorado, where the program is known as CHP+, 56,812 children and 1,229 pregnant women are enrolled. There are 180,000 uninsured children in Colorado, and it is estimated that 2/3 of these children are eligible for CHP+ but not currently enrolled. "It costs less than $3.50 a day - about the cost of a gallon of gas - to cover a child through SCHIP, we can't afford not to cover children in this program," Salazar said.
The CHAMP Act also reverses the Administration's drive to privatize Medicare, and strengthens our Medicare system for the future. Existing overpayments to private health insurance companies are on average 12% more than traditional Medicare. Continuing these overpayments could cause the elimination of Medicare altogether, forcing seniors to fend for themselves. "This legislation protects Medicare's solvency and allows seniors to continue to see the doctor of their choice," Rep Salazar said.
President Bush is has threatened to veto this bill on "philosophical" grounds. "This legislation makes significant investments in the health of our parents and our children. I would be very disappointed if the President vetoes this legislation that provides health care for low-income children and strengthens Medicare for seniors," Salazar said.