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For Immediate Release
August 22, 2007
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman today released the following statement in response to the onerous new child health coverage rules issued late last Friday night by the Bush Administration through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These harsh new rules set unattainable goals under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and will make it all but impossible for states to cover many uninsured children. They also may require states to roll back coverage for children who are currently insured through SCHIP. At least 20 states will be affected immediately by these new rules and others would likely be unable to move forward with planned program expansions in the future.
"These new policies put forth by the Bush administration without Congressional approval are unjust, increasing barriers to child health coverage at a time when we need to be breaking down those barriers to cover more uninsured children—not fewer. Bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress just voted to strengthen and improve SCHIP, with strong support from Governors from both parties. Overwhelmingly, the American people support health coverage for children.
"This latest action by the Bush Administration, coupled with the President's veto threat of congressionally approved SCHIP legislation, is further evidence that the President is more interested in playing politics than helping the 9 million uninsured children in this country get the cost effective health coverage they desperately need to survive and thrive. Telling them to go to the emergency room when they are already critically ill is not a solution worthy of the richest country in the world. America's children deserve better."
For more information on CDF's campaign to provide health coverage to all children, please visit: www.childrensdefense.org/healthychild.
For more information about the Children's Defense Fund, visit www.childrensdefense.org.