Schiff Votes to Extend Health Care to Millions of Children in Need

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Wednesday, February 04, 2009 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

Schiff Votes to Extend Health Care to Millions of Children in Need

Washington, DC – As families across the country struggle to pay their bills and put food on the table, Congress took action today to ensure millions of children do not have to go without health care.  The House passed, with Rep. Schiff’s support, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Reauthorization Act and sent it to the President to be signed into law.  This was the second time SCHIP passed the House this year, and today’s vote was on a compromise measure reached with the Senate.

“SCHIP is based on a simple premise – providing health insurance to kids is the right thing to do.  Parents shouldn’t have to choose between buying dinner for their children or bringing them to a doctor when they are sick,” said Schiff.  “SCHIP ensures that parents never have to make that decision by providing heath care to children whose parents’ incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid, but who do not receive health insurance through their employer and can’t afford it on their own.”

Congressman Schiff has been a longtime supporter of SCHIP, or Healthy Families as it is known in California, which extends health care benefits to children nationwide. SCHIP gives states the resources and incentives necessary to reach millions of uninsured children.  About two-thirds of uninsured children in California can receive SCHIP benefits, but many of their parents are not aware that they are eligible. In the 29th District alone, more than 13,000 children received health coverage from Healthy Families in 2007, although thousands of others are eligible but remain uninsured. 

The bipartisan legislation passed today improves SCHIP, providing health care coverage for 11 million children by preserving coverage for the roughly 7 million children currently covered by SCHIP and extending coverage to 4.1 million uninsured children who are currently eligible for, but not enrolled in, SCHIP and Medicaid.

Rep. Schiff’s office is available to help those struggling to afford health insurance for their children determine whether they are eligible for SCHIP and to provide information on how to apply.  To obtain more information about SCHIP/Healthy Families constituents are welcomed to contact Rep. Schiff’s district office at 626-304-2727.