Kid's Health Program to Expire

1 decade 3 months 4 days ago Friday, September 07 2007 Sep 7, 2007 Friday, September 07, 2007 12:43:40 PM UTC September 07, 2007 in News
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If the U.S. Congress and White House don' t reauthorize funding for the health insurance program, coverage could be in jeopardy. On Thursday, September 6, Missouri leaders and children's health advocacy experts gathered to urge support for the program. SCHIP covered more than 6.6 million children, nationwide, last year. But now there are nearly 9 million uninsured children. SCHIP supporters held a conference to raise awareness about the importance of the program. Missouri leaders are urging Congress and the White House to support the reauthorization and funding of SCHIP, which will expire at the end of this month.
    
"It is up for re-authorization," said Beth Griffin, Director of Citizens for Missouri's Children. "It must be re-authorized by September 30th, this month, by the end of this month, or many children will be without health insurance."
    
Since Congress first authorized SCHIP in 1997, the percentage of uninsured children in the U.S. has fallen by 24%. In Missouri alone, the number of children without health insurance coverage in 1998 was a little more than 150,000. That fell to around 116,000 in 2005 with help from SCHIP. Griffin wants to increase coverage for even more in Missouri.
    
"I think the chief concerns about the program have to do with financing it, there are other priorities for some public officials," Griffen said. "This is not their top priority, and we think it should be."
    
Supporters of the program agree coverage is needed to keep all kids healthy. SCHIP provides health coverage to children whose parents work but cannot afford health insurance or are not offered it through work.

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