Senate Moves Closer to Passage of Health Reform: A Good News, Bad News Story
The good news is that the Senate is very close to a final vote on a health reform bill that will provide health coverage to more than 31 million currently uninsured children and adults, protect the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) until 2019 and fully fund CHIP through 2015. This is much better than the House health reform bill that repeals CHIP in 2013. The bad news is that despite your great efforts and the efforts of many supporters across the country millions of children will still be worse off if CHIP is not fully funded after 2015 and the new health insurance exchanges do not offer comparable benefits and protections.
The challenge continues. Our work is not done and your help is still needed as a Conference Committee begins resolving differences between the House and Senate bills in early January. We must ensure that the final health reform bill will make all children better off and leave no children worse off.
We so appreciate your outreach to your Senators urging their support of Senator Bob Casey’s (D-PA) Children’s CHIP Amendment. More than 600 national, state and local, and faith organizations and Bishops signed a letter in support of the amendment. Nine Senators joined Senator Casey as co-sponsors. Unfortunately the amendment could not be voted on because it never received a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
As attention turns to resolving differences between the House and Senate health reform bills, it is critically important that the gains made for children in CHIP with the leadership of Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Senator Bob Casey be maintained. Children must not be moved out of CHIP until health coverage that is at least comparable to CHIP is available through the health insurance exchanges. We were deeply disappointed that the critically needed improvements in CHIP to make coverage comprehensive, accessible and affordable no matter where children live were not included in the Senate bill. We must still work to make it easier in the final bill for children to get CHIP and keep it.
How you can help: Let your Senators and Representatives know that any final health reform bill must ensure that no children will be worse off than they are now. CHIP must be continued, funded and improved and CHIP children should not be moved to the health insurance exchanges until they can be protected and assured coverage at least comparable to what they are getting in CHIP.
We are so grateful for your continuing help and will need it again early in January. We will get back to you then. Have a joyous 2010!
Early Childhood and Health Reform
Are you curious about how the health reform proposals might affect early childhood development and how you can help? Read CDF's new information about real child health reform for young children. CDF fully understands the need for consistent, quality education throughout a child's life, including the need for a child to grow and learn during the summer months and after the traditional school day ends. CDF continues its work today to support programs and policies that will ensure every child a Head Start in life. For more about CDF’s work on early childhood development, visit our website.
Ring in 2010 with An Inspirational Read
CDF President Marian Wright Edelman's most recent book, The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation, is a call to action for all Americans to address the urgent needs of the country's youth. The book is a series of letters to a variety of audiences—educators, faith leaders, youth, mothers, elected officials and concerned citizens nationwide—that reflect on the social and economic progress as well as the setbacks since Dr. King's death more than 40 years ago. Mrs. Edelman challenges each audience to step up and take action at this pivotal moment to ensure a level playing field for the next generation.
Purchase your copy today in our online store.