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Public Statements

Rep. Berman Backs Bill to Provide Health Care to 11 Million Children, Strengthen Medicare

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


REP. BERMAN BACKS BILL TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE TO 11 MILLION CHILDREN, STRENGTHEN MEDICARE

Washington, D.C. - Rep. Howard Berman today joined a majority in the House of Representatives in support of legislation to provide health care to 11 million low-income children and strengthen Medicare. The Children's Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act was approved by a vote of 225-204.

"No child in Los Angeles or San Fernando or anywhere in our nation should ever go without medical care," said Berman. "I was proud to back a plan to move us closer to providing every child in our nation with high quality health care."

The CHAMP Act reauthorizes the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and protects coverage for 6 million children, including 1,223,475 in California, while extending health care coverage to 5 million more low-income children, covering a total of 11 million children. CHIP was established on a bipartisan basis in 1997 by President Clinton and Congress, but must be reauthorized by September 30, 2007. If the program is not reauthorized by September 30, 6 million children nationwide could lose their health care.

The CHAMP Act also includes provisions to strengthen Medicare, control out of pocket costs for seniors and help ensure seniors have access to the doctors of their choice by stopping a scheduled 10 percent payment cut to doctors. Additionally, the legislation ends massive overpayments to private health organizations like HMOs and makes a series of preventative screenings free for Medicare beneficiaries. New free benefits under Medicare provided under the CHAMP Act include:

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diabetes screening tests
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screening for glaucoma
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an initial preventive physical examination
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bone mass measurement
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prostate cancer screening tests
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colorectal cancer screening tests
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mammography screening
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pap smear screening

"The CHAMP Act will help ensure seniors see the doctor they trust and get the care they need," added Berman. "The legislation we passed today makes Medicare stronger and helps prevent seniors from being stuck with a higher bill at the doctor's office."


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