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Public Statements

Letter to Colleagues in the House

Letter

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Wilson and LaHood Urge GOP Support for Child Health Bill

Representatives Heather Wilson (NM-01) and Ray LaHood (IL-18) today urged their Republican colleagues to vote for the children's health insurance compromise. Wilson and LaHood co-authored a letter to the GOP caucus urging support for the deal negotiators hammered out on Friday.

"We urge your support for the SCHIP agreement," Wilson and LaHood told their colleagues today. "Investments in children's health pay off many times over during a child's lifetime. Children's health care should be a bipartisan issue, and this agreement reflects a bipartisan compromise to improve the health of America's children."

The entire text of the letter is below:

September 24, 2007

Support the SCHIP Agreement

Dear Colleague:

According to Census Bureau data, about 9 million children lack health insurance. This SCHIP agreement would cover 3 to 4 million of them by investing $35 billion in additional funding in children's health insurance over five years. We urge your support for this SCHIP agreement and believe it is the best vehicle for reauthorizing the program before it expires.

A bipartisan group of Senate and House Members have crafted this agreement. While not perfect, this agreement retains the core principles of SCHIP when it was enacted and provides states with new tools to enroll more eligible low-income children. Federal assistance is reduced if states expand coverage to middle-income children.

One-third of the uninsured children in the U.S. went without medical care for an entire year, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, while only 12 percent of insured children received no care during the same period. Uninsured children were 10 times more likely not to receive the medical care they needed, compared to children who have insurance

The agreement provides health insurance for 3 to 4 million low-income uninsured children without making reductions in Medicare Advantage. It focuses on enrolling the lowest income eligible children first. Furthermore, the agreement returns the program to its original focus on low-income children, phasing out coverage of adults. It also includes an enhanced premium assistance provision to help families buy into employer coverage for children if available to them.

We urge your support for the SCHIP agreement. Investments in children's health pay off many times over during a child's lifetime. Children's health care should be a bipartisan issue, and this agreement reflects a bipartisan compromise to improve the health of America's children.

Sincerely,

_________________ __________________

Heather Wilson Ray LaHood

Member of Congress Member of Congress


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