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Votes to Expand Healthcare Coverage to MIllions of American Kids Under SCHIP

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Votes to Expand Healthcare Coverage to MIllions of American Kids Under SCHIP

Seeking to cover even more uninsured kids in Nevada, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today voted for H.R. 2, The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Reauthorization bill. The bipartisan bill, passed on a vote of 289-139, renews and improves SCHIP by preserving coverage for the 7 million children currently covered under the program, including 23,000 in Nevada, and by extending coverage to an additional 4 million uninsured children who are currently eligible for, but not enrolled in, SCHIP and Medicaid.

"This legislation will protect vital healthcare coverage for the more than 23,000 kids already enrolled at home in the state version of SCHIP, the Nevada Check Up program. Expanding SCHIP will also ensure that more children in Las Vegas and nationwide have access to the medical and dental care they need to stay healthy," said Berkley. "Preventive care saves money and this legislation is a wise investment in keeping America's kids healthy. Nevada will see a nearly 20% increase in its funding for SCHIP under this package and the $60 million it provides will allow the state to increase the number of families receiving healthcare coverage under this key program."

Highlights of SCHIP Expansion Package:

Ensures health care coverage for 11 million American children. The bill renews and improves the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), reauthorizing it for four and a half years - through FY 2013. The bill ensures that the 7 million children who currently participate in SCHIP continue to receive coverage. It also extends coverage to 4 million uninsured children, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Provides resources for states to reach uninsured children who are today eligible for SCHIP and Medicaid but not yet enrolled. Two-thirds of uninsured children are currently eligible for coverage through SCHIP or Medicaid - but better outreach and adequate funding are needed to identify and enroll them. This bill gives states the resources and incentives necessary to reach and cover millions of uninsured children who are eligible for, but not enrolled in, SCHIP and Medicaid.
Improves SCHIP benefits - ensuring dental coverage and mental health parity. Under the bill, quality dental coverage will now be provided to all children enrolled in SCHIP. The bill also ensures that states will offer mental health services on par with medical and surgical benefits covered under SCHIP.

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