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Berkley Again Votes to Give 10 Million Children Healthcare

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Latest Effort To Overcome Bush SCHIP Veto Fails In House

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) today again voted to override the President's veto of bipartisan legislation to provide health care to 10 million children through the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The bipartisan plan vetoed by the President would extend care to more than 34,000 currently uninsured children in the Silver State who are eligible for coverage under the state run Nevada Check Up program.

"With the economy slowing, more parents are having difficulty finding health insurance for their children and that makes the SCHIP program more critical than ever," said Congresswoman Berkley. "President Bush and a handful of Republicans are blocking health care for 3.8 million additional children who would be covered by SCHIP under this bill. Passing this legislation would provide health care to 34,000 children in the Silver State who are eligible for Nevada Check Up but are not enrolled in the program. Without an extension of SCHIP, many of these Nevada children will not be able to see a doctor when they are sick or receive regular dental care," said Berkley. "I have heard from large numbers of southern Nevada residents who have written or called to express their overwhelming support for this legislation. That is why I will continue pushing for passage of this SCHIP package so we can enroll more children in Nevada Check Up. But that is only going to happen when we have enough votes to override the President's veto," said Berkley.

The legislation vetoed by the President provided a $35 billion expansion of the SCHIP program and would have provided health care coverage to 10 million children. The legislation was backed by Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress and enjoyed support from Governors of both parties. Additionally, a series of new polls indicated overwhelming public support for SCHIP, with as much as 81 percent of the country backing the bipartisan Congressional plan.
The existing SCHIP program was extended in December until March 2009—but, without this legislation, 3.8 million additional low-income children who are eligible but not enrolled will now not be covered under the program. In addition, state budget shortfalls and administrative rules from President Bush put children who are covered now in jeopardy of losing health care.

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