“This report makes clear the urgency to provide the full $50 billion in additional funding for SCHIP. This new funding will triple the money Pennsylvania receives and greatly increase the number of children receiving health care. One of my top priorities this year is to do everything I can to secure the $50 billion for the SCHIP reauthorization this year,” said Senator Casey.
SCHIP, which passed Congress in 1997, must be reauthorized by Congress every ten years, and is set to expire September 30, 2007. The Senate is expected to vote upon reauthorization of SCHIP this summer.
According to the Families USA report, the additional money that could be provided to Pennsylvania would not only help children, but it would also improve Pennsylvania’s economy. Over the next five years, the $1.82 billion in new federal funding could create:
- $820.6 million in increased business activity;
- $287.7 million in increased wages; and
- 8,498 additional jobs for state residents.
“It is unacceptable that 9 million children in this country are without health insurance,” said Casey. “And the data clearly shows that the majority of uninsured children – 78 percent – come from working families, sometimes working 2 and 3 jobs, and still can’t afford health insurance. We must do better for these children.”
Earlier this year, Senator Casey joined Senators Rockefeller, Kennedy, and Baucus to author an amendment as part of the fiscal year 2008 budget debate that states, in part, that reauthorizing SCHIP is the Senate’s top health care priority and that expanding health care coverage to uninsured children is urgent.