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With Latest SCHIP Vote, Patrick Murphy Stands up for Pennsylvania Kids

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

With Latest SCHIP Vote, Patrick Murphy Stands up for Pennsylvania Kids

8th District Congressman Stands up to President Bush's Veto Threat, Votes to Provide Health Care to Tens of Thousands of Pennsylvania Kids

Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) voted for the bipartisan Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization bill. This bill is a follow-up to the bill that President Bush vetoed earlier this month even though it was supported by 18 of the 21 members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation. The CHIP Reauthorization could mean an additional 3.8 million children from low income families - including 140,000 here in Pennsylvania - would receive health care. This is compromise legislation supported by Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives as well as an overwhelming majority of American families. The original legislation, which is very similar to the recent bill, had the support of 43 governors, 67 Senators and 265 members of the House of Representatives. This is fiscally responsible legislation that is not only good for the short-term by insuring up to 10 million American children but also looks after our long-term goals by reducing the load on emergency rooms and lowering across the board health care costs. Today's bill passed by a final vote of 265 to 142.

"President Bush is alone in his opposition to this bipartisan legislation. It's time for him to do the right thing and join those of us who are fighting for millions of American families," said Congressman Patrick Murphy. "We will keep working on behalf of parents who play by the rules and just want health insurance for their children."

6,700 Bucks County Children Currently Enrolled in SCHIP
162,800 Pennsylvania Children Currently Enrolled in SCHIP

Under this bill

* Nearly 4 Million Additional American Children will Receive Health Care
* 140,000 Additional Pennsylvania Children will Receive Health Care [LINK]

This fiscally responsible legislation maintains current law regarding children's eligibility, but by investing $35 billion into the health and well-being of American children, the bill provides states with the resources necessary to reach millions of eligible children not yet enrolled in CHIP. This bill provides health care only to American citizens and gives states incentives to make sure low-income children receive health care. The original State Children's Health Insurance Program was created in 1997 to provide health care coverage for children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance.

The bill has garnered a broad range of support from various advocacy organizations and a bipartisan collection of political leaders. CHIP Reauthorization is supported by the AARP, the American Medical Association, the Healthcare Leadership Council, the American Cancer Society and the Catholic Health Association. It has received broad support from Democrats and Republican leaders including Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Reps Phil English (R-PA) and Charlie Dent (R-PA).

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