President's Health Care Proposal Fails to Address Children's Health Needs

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Children's Defense
 Fund (CDF) today commended President Bush for attempting to address the
 nation's urgent health care needs in tonight's State of the Union Address.
 While acknowledging the need to address health care is a refreshing step in
 the right direction for this administration, CDF President Marian Wright
 Edelman was disappointed the president failed to address the health care
 needs of the more than 9 million uninsured children in the United States.
     "The proposal outlined by the president fails to even address the
 urgent need to cover the more than 9 million uninsured children and
 millions more who are underinsured," said Edelman. "Tax deductions do
 little for most families. The president's plan would force many parents to
 choose between paying for health care or other family needs. We need to be
 more direct in dealing with the health care crisis, especially for the sake
 of our children."
     Tax deductions can actually erode employer-based coverage, encouraging
 states to reduce coverage under Medicaid and the State Children's Health
 Insurance Program (SCHIP). The president's tax deductions could also
 weaken, not increase, the coverage of children without making health
 insurance any more affordable for most families. By contrast, a CDF
 proposal would control costs for low- and middle-income families and
 provide states with financial incentives to enroll children.
     "Investing in health coverage for all children is the most
 cost-effective action our government can make," continued Edelman. "We
 encourage the president to take the smart, moral and achievable step to
 ensure all children in America have a healthy start in life. CDF encourages
 the president to work with Congress to create a streamlined system that
 guarantees health care coverage for all of our children in 2007."
     Earlier this month, CDF released a plan that would provide health care
 coverage to all children in America. The full details of CDF's proposal are
 available at http://www.childrensdefense.org/healthychild.
 
 

SOURCE Children's Defense Fund

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