NORRISTOWN, PA- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today toured the Norristown Montgomery Early Learning Center and also visited with members of the Maternity Care Coalition (and one of their MOMobiles) in the parking lot. He also discussed efforts to protect health care for children during the health care reform debate and his intent to offer an amendment to improve health care for children.
“From serving as the model for the national Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to the programs here in Norristown, Pennsylvania has been ahead of the pack in providing health care to children,” said Senator Casey. “Unfortunately, some people in Washington want to pass policies that will leave children worse off. We have had some victories in the effort to prevent the dismantling of CHIP, but there is more work to do. That is why I intend to offer an amendment to the Senate health care reform bill to strengthen coverage for children in CHIP through 2019 to ensure that all vulnerable children are cared for.”
Senator Casey has been a strong advocate for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) since his father helped create the Pennsylvania program on which the federal program is based. He was a leading advocate for the historic expansion of CHIP earlier this year. And he has been a vocal opponent of the provisions in the original Finance Committee bill that would have dismantled the program.
Senator Casey spearheaded a letter signed by six other senators urging the Finance Committee to support the amendment by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) that preserved CHIP. He recently hosted a widely-attended briefing on the importance of children’s health care. Senator Casey gave numerous floor speeches on the need to do no harm to children in the health care reform debate. And he actively lobbied his Senate colleagues and the White House on the importance of maintaining CHIP.
Montgomery Early Learning Centers is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1963 whose mission is to develop, provide and advance accessible, high quality early childhood education and school age programs.
MELC has early childhood centers in Pottstown, Norristown, Narberth, and two centers in West Philadelphia. These centers provide early learning care for children from 6 weeks through 5 years of age. MELC serves over 600 children each year.
MELC’s school age programs serve over 675 children ages 5 to 12 years at 16 sites in Montgomery and Delaware Counties and in West Philadelphia.
Maternity Care Coalition was founded in 1980 by professionals and lay people concerned with the appalling rate of infant mortality and morbidity in Philadelphia. MCC advocated for increased services for women and infants to health and welfare agencies and legislative bodies.
Since then, MCC has nurtured over 50,000 families in the Philadelphia region. The MOMobile is their signature program, using a "bottom-up" strategy of neighborhood outreach, case finding, and building trust with high-risk families to enable parents to access a range of services and programs that improve the quality of their lives.