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Public Statements

Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

(House of Representatives - February 04, 2009)

Ms. HIRONO. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 2, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act. Our nation must show true compassion for the most vulnerable among us, and CHIP helps millions of low-income children receive healthcare.

The last time we had a floor debate on H.R. 2, there were references made by those in opposition to the bill to a program in my state called Keiki Care. It was suggested by those individuals that the Keiki Care program was cancelled due to perceived crowd-out, where parents drop their children's private insurance in order to enroll into a free government program.

That claim was entirely false, and I join Congressman Abercrombie in correcting the misstatements made by the opposition. The Keiki Care program did not have an issue with crowd-out. It was intentionally designed so that those who wish to enroll in the program must be continuously uninsured for six months. There was also no spike in program enrollment that even suggests that parents were indeed dropping their private insurance to join. I would like to insert into the Record a fact sheet on Keiki Care published by the group Hawaii Covering Kids.

In Hawaiian, ``keiki'' means ``child'' or taken literally ``little one.'' H.R. 2 is a bill that provides for the health and well-being of the keiki most in need of our help. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting in support of H.R. 2 today.

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