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Yarmuth Hails Historic Children's Health Coverage Expansion Becoming Law


President Obama signs law to insure 11 million kids, 115,000 in Kentucky

(Washington, DC) Today, the long battle to insure many of America’s children was won.  Just hours after Congress passed a State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Reauthorization for the third time in two years, President Obama signed the bill into law.  The five-year reauthorization will provide health insurance for 115,000 Kentucky children, 47,000 of whom are currently uninsured.

Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3), an early cosponsor and strong advocate for the bill, praised the new law.  “In this great nation, a sick child should never have to go without potentially life-saving care,” the Louisville lawmaker said.  “We have taken a huge step forward, both in meeting our moral obligation to our children and in giving the youngest generations a chance to grow up healthy so they can build strong, successful lives.” 

SCHIP was created in 1997 to provide health care coverage for children in families who cannot afford insurance but do not qualify for Medicaid.  Over the last decade, it has proven to be a very successful and cost-effective program for providing health coverage.

The new law is nearly identical to legislation passed twice by the last Congress but vetoed both times.  It is expected to provide health insurance coverage to 11 million children, including 4 million who are not currently covered.

 “By reaching kids with less expensive, preventative care and giving them the opportunity to see a doctor before health problems grow into crises, we will save millions of taxpayer dollars by cutting down on costly emergency room visits,” Yarmuth added.  “With millions of American families losing jobs and the health care benefits that comes with them, this law is needed now more than ever.”