Buffalo – All children deserve quality health care. The percentage of Americans without health care is now at a record high. According to the latest U.S. Census figures, 47 million Americans lacked insurance in 2006 – up from 44.8 million in 2005. Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples (141st A.D.) supports the two-week nationwide effort by members of Congress to rally support for the critical bipartisan children’s health bill, which would provide health coverage for 10 million low-income American children.
Earlier this year, Assemblymember Peoples worked with the Assembly to help expand New York’s Child Health Insurance program in the budget to cover the 400,000 children in New York who lack health insurance. Sadly, President Bush’s administration has rejected New York’s effort to expand Child Health Plus, effectively denying coverage to 70,000 children from families with modest means.
“If the rules are not changed, the president’s policy will affect thousands of hard-working New York families who struggle – and in many cases are failing – to afford today’s exorbitant health care costs. I applaud Governor Spitzer for joining with seven other states in pursuing legal action against the Bush administration for violating the provisions of the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP),” Assemblymember Peoples stated. President Bush’s ill-conceived policy impedes states’ capacity to provide this much-needed health care, and he has vetoed a bipartisan congressional effort to restore this program.
The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was created in 1997 to provide health care coverage for children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Currently, states and the federal government share the cost of providing state-sponsored health care coverage for children. Under the revisions created by the state legislature, more middle-income families whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford private coverage would now qualify for Child Health Plus. Unfortunately, the Bush administration is once again ignoring those who need help the most by adopting strict and unrealistic limits on family income that would make it impossible for New York State to expand this popular program.
Assemblymember Peoples urges citizens to join together in opposing the Bush administration’s attempt to deny crucial health care to 70,000 uninsured New York children. Assemblymember Peoples stated earlier, “We have a responsibility to provide access to health insurance for all New York’s children, and I urge President Bush not to turn his back on them. I will do everything I can in the Assembly to stand up to the Bush administration’s appalling health care policy that shows little concern for the health and well-being of our children. Health care is not a luxury – it’s a necessity.”