Congregations for Children
A new legislative session will be upon us soon. Last year Congregations for Children won some and lost others as we worked at our state Capitol to improve the lives of children. This year will be no different. Our state and federal leaders have critical decisions to make concerning the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)/Medicaid.
Several weeks ago my 2½ year-old-daughter had a viral infection that caused her to run a fever for three days. Her throat was fiery red, her eyes and nose ran with thick mucus and as a result she lost her voice. My husband and I decided to take her to see the pediatrician when the over-the-counter medication proved ineffective. She was placed on antibiotics and a cough syrup which seemed to work immediately. Within a few days our little princess was up dancing and singing.
Fortunately, we had health insurance and our daughter was able to get good quality health care. Unfortunately, that is not the story of the majority of American households.
The number of uninsured children in the
From 2003-2006, a total of 146,000 of
Two weeks ago on Capitol Hill both the U.S. House and Senate moved in the right direction to reduce the number of uninsured children living in the
Specifically, it includes more than $47 billion in new funding over five years to provide health coverage for uninsured children under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and Medicaid, as well as policy improvements that will help states cover 4.1 million uninsured children. U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson voted yes, and Rep. Gene Taylor voted no.
The Senate bill provides less money over a five-year period and fewer policy improvements to only cover 3.1 million uninsured children. Though not as strong as the House bill, this legislation is also a step in the right direction. Both
The SCHIP program expires Sept. 30 unless Congress acts.
What can you do? Call your congressional leaders and tell them you support comprehensive health care coverage for all children in
To contact your leaders and learn more about the issue please visit the Children’s Defense Fund Web site, www.childrensdefense.org. Our children matter!
Wechlin is legislative liaison for Congregations For Children, an advocacy group supported by the United Methodist, Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches in