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For Immediate Release
March 30, 2007
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WASHINGTON, DC — The Children's Defense Fund this week joined 18 of the nation's leading religious leaders, representing tens of millions, and 10 families from across the country who struggle every day to meet their children's health needs, many with life-threatening illnesses, to urge Congress to enact the All Healthy Children Act (H.R. 1688), introduced this week by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA).
"The stories we have heard from these families shows us how our health insurance system is failing our children—nine million children have no coverage at all and countless others are underinsured, fall through the cracks, or get mired in bureaucratic red tape," CDF President Marian Wright Edelman said. "As the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) comes up for renewed funding this year, Congress will decide on the life and death chances of millions of our children. The time to act is now. For all of the children who have no voice, it is our moral obligation to unite and be a voice for them. Congress must pass the All Healthy Children Act this year."
CDF worked closely with Rep. Scott to develop the All Healthy Children Act (HR. 1688), which would simplify and consolidate children’s health coverage under Medicaid and SCHIP into a single program that guarantees children and pregnant women in all 50 states and the District of Columbia all medically necessary services. For more information on the legislation, visit www.childrensdefense.org/healthychild.
On Tuesday, working families from Houston, Austin, New York, Jackson, Miss., and Columbus, Ohio met with some of our country's most prominent faith leaders at a "Children’s Witness" at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, DC to discuss their daily struggles. Two of the families have lost a child in the last few weeks because they could not find a doctor to provide the services they desperately needed or were wrongfully denied health coverage. A list of all participants and a summary of the families' stories are attached. On Wednesday, the group visited more than 25 Senators and Representatives, including members of the House and Senate leadership, and attended a reception given in their honor by the Congressional Black Caucus.