WASHINGTON, June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) comes before Congress this month, more than 1,000 prominent faith, public official, education, health and social services providers and child advocacy groups and leaders representing tens of millions of people in America urged Congress and President Bush today to ensure health coverage for all uninsured children and pregnant women. These diverse groups come from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and have a broad range of missions but share one common goal: to get Congress and President Bush to provide health coverage for all nine million uninsured children now. Ninety percent of uninsured children live in working families. "The diversity and size of this broad coalition reflect the fact that Americans know that covering all uninsured children is the smart, sensible and moral thing to do now," said CDF President Marian Wright Edelman. "Since the 110th Congress convened in January, more than 280,000 children have been born without health insurance -- one every 47 seconds. Our leaders in all parties have the power and responsibility to ensure all children the health coverage they need to survive, thrive and learn. Nine million uninsured children cannot wait until our nation acts on long overdue health coverage for everyone." Endorsers of CDF's Healthy Child Campaign include a wide range of local, state, and national organizations and community leaders: -- Faith leaders representing tens of millions of people including all four major Black Baptist denominations with a combined membership of 14 million; all three African American Methodist denominations with five million members; the National Islamic Society of North America, the Interfaith Alliance, Sojourners/Call to Renewal, mainstream denominations including the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, and member communions of the National Council of Churches of Christ, which represent 44 million people of faith who believe child health coverage is a moral as well as practical imperative. -- Elected officials including New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco; the United States Conference of Mayors (representing more than 1,000 cities and approximately 125 million people); the National Conference of Black Mayors; 63 individual mayors including Antonio R. Villaraigosa (LA), Gavin Newsom (San Francisco), Ron Dellums (Oakland), and Adrian Fenty (DC); and the New Orleans City Council. -- Major education networks including the National Association of School Boards of Education, American Association of School Administrators, and National Association of Secondary School Principals serving approximately 50 million children in public school whose learning is profoundly impacted by health and mental health care. -- More than 80 national civil rights and women's organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Action Network, National Urban League, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the National Council of Negro Women, Church Women United, the United Methodist Women, and the National Organization for Women (NOW), Jack and Jill, the Links, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta. -- More than 350 state and local advocacy organizations and providers including the Minnesota Public Health Association, Harlem Children's Zone, the Ohio Grandparent/Kinship Coalition, Family Voices, and Youth Build. These supporters believe the following principles of the Healthy Child Campaign must be included in any federal child health legislation enacted by Congress this year: -- Enrollment and renewal should be automatic and simplified to ensure easy access for children and pregnant women to get and keep health coverage. The CDF-endorsed All Healthy Children Act, HR 1688, introduced in the House by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and co-sponsored by 55 others, will be introduced in the Senate this week by Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT). For more information about the Healthy Child Campaign including a complete list of endorsers, a summary of the All Healthy Children Act and stories of uninsured children, visit http://www.childrensdefense.org/healthychild. Also visit http://www.electsusie.com and sign 10-year-old Susie Flynn's petition. Susie Flynn is running for President as a voice for the nine million uninsured children to encourage adults in America to stand up for all healthy children now.
SOURCE Children's Defense Fund