Washington, D.C., Aug. 3, 2007 – “The American Public Health Association (APHA) commends the U.S. Senate for voting late Thursday to protect children’s health by reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The measure would reduce the rate of uninsured children by more than one third over the next five years by providing health benefits to more than 9 million children.
“Reauthorizing SCHIP is a historic opportunity to do right by our nation’s kids. We applaud the Senate for investing in children’s health and the future of this country.
“Prevention is the future of U.S. health care. If we want to cut costs and improve health outcomes, we need to invest in prevention. One way to improve prevention is assuring access to health care, and SCHIP is a proven way to cover more kids.
“And like the House measure passed Wednesday, the Senate bill attacks two evils at once: It covers previously uninsured kids and pays for it by raising the tobacco tax, keeping children from starting to use tobacco in the first place. This alone will save a million kids from the scourge of nicotine addiction, saving billions in health care dollars and tens of thousands of lives.
“We thank members of the Senate for recognizing the importance of this issue and for seizing the moment to protect our nation’s children. We look forward to working with members of the Senate and House as both measures go to conference and ensuring that as many kids as possible receive the health benefits they deserve.”
Learn more about APHA’s recommendations for improving the SCHIP program.