Health Insurance :: Catholic Health Association for reauthorization of State Children’s Health Insurance Program SCHIP

The Catholic Health Association is proud to stand with a diverse group of 30 national organizations calling on Congress and President Bush to make the nation’s children a priority by reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

SCHIP is a bipartisan American success story, having provided health insurance coverage to millions of children in the ten years it has been in existence.

To continue serving low-income children who depend on SCHIP for their health care, the program must be reauthorized and must not be shortchanged because of political discord or partisan posturing.

“When such a large and diverse group of organizations stands on the same stage in unanimous agreement, it is because the issue at stake is tremendously important, which health care for our children most certainly is,” said Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).

The budgetary decisions made by Congress and the President should reflect American values and priorities. Currently, the U.S. spends more than $144 billion per year on military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly three in four people (72 percent) surveyed in a recent public opinion poll commissioned by CHA said that if the nation can afford to spend this much money on the war effort, it can afford to spend at least seven billion dollars more per year on health insurance for low-income children.

“Reauthorizing SCHIP, and making sure it is properly funded to cover all eligible children, is a moral choice?the choice to do right by our children and our future generations,” Sr. Carol said. “To those who do not support SCHIP reauthorization covering all eligible children I would ask, which child should we leave without health care?”

According to the public opinion survey, SCHIP is a popular program that the American public widely supports and wants to see continue without delay. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed said they favor bipartisan Senate legislation that would increase SCHIP spending by $35 billion over five years. And nearly two-thirds of voters surveyed said that President Bush would be wrong to veto the Senate bill, which he has threatened to do.

The national public opinion survey was conducted on behalf of the Catholic Health Association of the United States by Public Opinion Strategies, Inc., of Alexandria, VA. The survey included responses from 800 registered voters contacted by telephone between July 19-22. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.46 percent.

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