Monday, September 24, 2007

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

Tell Congress: Stand Up to Bush

At a recent press conference, President Bush said he would veto expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and accused SCHIP supporters of trying to "score political points."

The fight over children's health isn't about chalking up political points. It's about making sure millions of children have access to secure, quality health care.

The House will vote Tuesday on legislation to insure 4 million more children by expanding SCHIP. We need a strong bipartisan show of support for the bill to demonstrate to Bush just how isolated he is on this issue.

The bill's opponents argue that the current program should merely be extended--but not expanded.

But because of a big increase in uninsured children in the United States, a simple extension of SCHIP would mean more children than ever would go without doctor visits and medications. With nearly 9 million uninsured children in this country now, we should be doing more to reach them, not less.

It's time Bush's allies stood up to him.

As Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) said of a "yes" vote on SCHIP: "It shows that, if [members of Congress] feel strongly about something, they are willing to stand up to the president and tell him."

LaHood is onto something--the American people want Congress to defy Bush. In a recent poll, 64 percent of voters disagreed with the president's decision to veto SCHIP expansion.

They must know something Bush doesn't--the SCHIP program works and is worth expanding.

Thanks to the program, the number of uninsured children of low-income families has dropped by nearly one-third in a decade. But those gains are in peril as the number of uninsured children jumped to 8.7 million in 2006-an increase of 1 million in just two years.

We need SCHIP expansion more than ever before.

Tell your representative today to deny political cover to Bush, and instead cover 4 million uninsured children:

SCHIP--House Vote - Take Action Page

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Your Congressperson

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Fight for Children, Not Bush

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

The time is now for Congress to deliver legislation to the president to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

I urge you to support the final SCHIP reauthorization bill to bring coverage to at least 4 million more uninsured children. The legislation needs strong, bipartisan support to bypass the Bush veto threat.

A mere extension of the program is insufficient--it will leave millions of eligible children without coverage.

Congress must stand with children, not the president, and support a strong SCHIP bill that gets children the health care they need.



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