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House Passes Expansion of Children's Health Insurance Program with Yarmuth's Support


SCHIP bill will ensure 11 million kids, including 4 million who are not currently covered

(Washington, DC) Today, with the strong support of Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3), the US House of Representatives passed the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Reauthorization, which will maintain insurance coverage for more than seven million children in working families and extend coverage to an additional four million.

The legislation, which reauthorizes SCHIP through 2013, is identical to the bills President Bush vetoed in the last Congress.  The Senate plans to approve the legislation quickly, and President-Elect Obama is expected to sign the bill into law next week.

Congressman Yarmuth’s floor statement in support of the SCHIP expansion legislation is below.

Modern medicine can prevent an inconvenient infection from ballooning into a debilitating illness with a relatively simple physician's visit and subsequent treatment. And here in America, with the best medical practices and practitioners in the history of the world, we have the capabilities to keep our nation's children healthy and their futures bright.

But we aren't doing it.

Up to now, we've chosen not to guarantee the health of our children, instead forcing upon millions of parents the difficult choice of seeking treatment for an ailing child or buying food. Making that potentially life-saving doctor's visit or keeping the lights on.

Today, we have the opportunity to erase that awful dilemma for the working mothers and fathers of more than 4 million children, including tens of thousands in my home state of Kentucky, by extending the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. By supporting the SCHIP expansion we help guarantee the inalienable rights of America’s children to survive, thrive, and grow up to become healthy adults.

By expanding SCHIP we can prevent the future health problems of our youngest generation so that they never grow up to be burdens on the system.  It makes economic sense, but more importantly, it is our moral obligation.  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important legislation, as we fight to ensure that a sick child in this great nation never has to go without care.