Congressman Salazar Votes to Provide Health Care to Thousands of Colorado Children
Today, Congressman John Salazar voted to support the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) - legislation that provides health care coverage to an estimated 11 million uninsured children nationally. Similar legislation was passed by Congress in 2007 and 2008 but was twice vetoed by President Bush.
Currently about 85,000 Colorado children receive health care coverage through SCHIP, and a 2007 analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service estimated the revised program could provide coverage to an additional 60,000 currently uninsured children statewide.
"At a time when our economy is hurting, it is more important than ever to make sure our nation's children have the health care coverage they deserve," Congressman Salazar said. "With working families increasingly struggling to make ends meet, partisanship must be put aside to ensure that our children are not denied access to their family doctors."
The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was created in 1997 to provide health care coverage for children in families that earn too little to afford health insurance for their children themselves but too much to qualify for Medicaid. This bill will give states the resources and incentives necessary to reach and cover millions of uninsured children who are currently eligible for, but not enrolled in, SCHIP and Medicaid. It has been endorsed by dozens of organizations, representing millions of Americans - ranging from business groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses and Business Roundtable to the American Hospital Association to such groups as AARP and Families USA.
"I believe this will be one of the first bills signed into law by President Obama - it has been a long road, but finally millions of children and their parents will be given the assurance of health care that they so deserve," added Salazar.