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Hare Supports Bipartisan Measure to Expand Children's Healthcare

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Hare Supports Bipartisan Measure to Expand Children's Healthcare
Calls President's Veto Threat "Cruel"

Washington, Sep 26 -

Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today voted for the bipartisan House-Senate agreement to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which is set to expire on September 30. This legislation provides health care coverage for more than 10 million children—preserving coverage for the 6.6 million currently covered by SCHIP and extending coverage to 3.8 million children who are currently uninsured, including 154,000 in Illinois.

Since its creation in 1997, SCHIP has succeeded in providing health care coverage for more than 6 million children of working families whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to buy private insurance. Over 280,000 Illinois children are currently enrolled in the program. "SCHIP has been extraordinarily successful in Illinois over the last 10 years," Hare said. "But we cannot afford to rest until the number of uninsured children is reduced to zero."

To the dismay of Democrats and many Republicans, President Bush has threatened to veto the measure. The bipartisan SCHIP agreement is supported by 68 Senators (including 18 Republicans), 43 governors (including 16 Republicans), and a strong majority of the American people. In characterizing the President's veto threat, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a staunch conservative, said: "I think the President's had some pretty bad advice on this."

Hare said he agrees with Sen. Hatch's assessment. "This President's indifference to people in need knows no bounds," Hare said. "Vetoing health care for poor children is not just bad policy, it is downright cruel."

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