HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania
Partnerships for Children (PPC) and Philadelphia Citizens for Children and
Youth (PCCY) today expressed deep disappointment with President Bush's veto
of the bipartisan Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act
of 2007. The bill, passed by the House and Senate last week, provides
health insurance for 10 million children nationwide whose families cannot
afford employer-sponsored health plans, but who earn too much to qualify
for Medicaid. More than 164,000 Pennsylvania children rely on CHIP for
health care coverage.
Pres. Bush said he vetoed the bill on the grounds it is "socialized
medicine" and would cause people in the private sector to switch to
government-sponsored insurance. But in Pennsylvania and in many other
states, private insurance companies serve as contractors to provide the
coverage. In addition, Pennsylvania's CHIP expansion last year has not
resulted in children leaving private health insurance plans. "The decline
in private insurance is due to increasing costs and the reduced ability of
families and employers to obtain affordable private coverage," said Alisa
Simon, health policy director of Philadelphia Citizens for Children and
Youth, "blaming CHIP and punishing children for a broader economic trend is
the wrong tactic."
There are approximately nine million uninsured children nationwide and
133,000 children without insurance in Pennsylvania. The vetoed bill would
have helped the Commonwealth reach this population. Insurance companies,
hospitals, doctors and other members of the health care system supported
the measure. In addition, recent polling indicated that the public strongly
supported the measure. As well as governors, Republican and Democrats
alike, who have expressed support for the measure.
"I do not understand how the President could veto this bill with such
strong support across the board," said Joan Benso, president and CEO,
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. "It seems unfathomable to deny the
will of the people -and leave millions of children vulnerable to a medical
The bipartisan measure was passed by Congress last week with strong
support on both sides of the aisle. Eighteen of Pennsylvania's 21-member
congressional delegation voted in favor of the legislation. " We are proud
that the vast majority of our congressional delegation put partisan
politics aside and supported the measure. These Representatives and
Senators deserve high praise for their work on behalf of children's health.
We now need them to stand tall again and override the veto," said Benso.
More information can be obtained by contacting Kathy Geller Myers,
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, at 717-236-5680;
firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.papartnerships.org, or by calling
Alisa Simon at Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, at
215-563-5848; email@example.com: http://www.pccy.org.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children