Statement from Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director,
American Public Health Association
Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 2007 – “U.S. Census Bureau data released today show a rise in the number of Americans lacking health insurance. 47 million people did not have health coverage in 2006, up from 44.8 million in 2005. This is a travesty.
“Tragically, our children share the burden. 8.7 million children – or more than one in 10 – were uninsured in 2006, up from 8 million. Access to health care is critical, especially for children. Children who are uninsured are more than three times less likely to have seen a doctor in the last year and have a higher incidence of preventable disease than insured children.
“Given these grim statistics, all eyes are now on Congress. There is no better opportunity for us to turn these numbers around and ensure that kids get the health care, including access to preventive care, they need than reauthorizing and expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The program expires in a month. Congress must act and forward the strongest possible SCHIP bill to the president for his signature.”
Learn more about APHA’s recommendations for improving the SCHIP program.