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President Obama Signs SCHIP Reauthorization and Expansion

President Obama signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009 (SCHIP) yesterday. The SCHIP program currently provides health insurance for more than 7 million children whose families cannot afford private healthcare but do not qualify for federal Medicaid. This bill expands the program to cover 4 million more children, including legal immigrants. President Bush twice vetoed similar legislation.

In his introductory remarks before signing the bill, President Obama said that “In a decent society, there are certain obligations that are not subject to tradeoffs or negotiations, and health care for our children is one of those obligations….Since it was created more than 10 years ago, the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been a lifeline for millions of children whose parents work full time and don’t qualify for Medicaid, but through no fault of their own don’t have — and can’t afford — private insurance. For millions of children who fall into that gap, CHIP has provided care when they’re sick and preventive services to help them stay well. This legislation will allow us to continue and build on these successes.”

The Senate passed the bill last week in a 66 to 32 vote. The House of Representatives passed the bill three weeks ago with a 289 to 139 vote.

Sources:

Feminist Daily Newswire 11/2/2007, 1/15/09, 1/30/09; New York Times 1/15/09; Congressman Frank Pallone Press Release 1/13/09; US News & World Report 1/30/09; White House Blog 2/4/09

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