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Congressman Rothman Votes in Favor of Health Care for Millions of U.S. Children

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Rothman Votes in Favor of Health Care for Millions of U.S. Children

Legislation will provide health insurance coverage for 380,000 New Jersey
children, 130,000 more than 2008

Today, Congressman Steve Rothman (D - Fair Lawn) voted in favor of H.R. 2, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 290 to 135. In the wake of President Obama's election, and with strong Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, healthcare coverage will be extended to more uninsured children. Passage by the House today sent the bill to President Obama's desk for his signature. President Obama will sign the bill later this afternoon.

"Passage of this bill by Congress is a strong first step toward solving the crisis of the uninsured in America," said Rothman. "Right now there are 47 million Americans living without health insurance, including 1.3 million in my home state of New Jersey. These families are living in constant fear that a sudden illness or injury could result in financial ruin. That is why it is so important that we act. Providing healthcare coverage for an additional 4 million children is a powerful example of what we can accomplish on a whole host of problems facing our country when government makes a difference in peoples lives. I look forward to seeing President Obama sign this important legislation, bringing additional changes for the better to New Jersey and the entire country."

H.R. 2 will expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program ("S-CHIP") to cover an additional 4 million American children for four years, raising the current number from 7 million to 11 million. In addition to extending the option for dental care coverage and mental health parity, the bill contains a provision that allows higher cost-of-living states like New Jersey to continue to cover families making an income of up to 350% above the federal poverty level—up to $74,200 in annual household income for New Jersey. Passage of H.R. 2 will ensure that federal funding for NJ FamilyCare continues through Fiscal Year 2013.

"Three times before the House voted in support of expanding healthcare coverage for more uninsured children and twice before we were thwarted by President Bush'" said Rothman. "Now, with the support of President Obama, we can finally deliver on our long overdue promise to provide this essential safety net for underserved children."

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