WASHINGTON DC – A federal program that would provide health insurance coverage to more than 11 million children in low-income families during the next 5 years won approval last Wednesday (Jan. 14, 2009) in the U.S. House of Representatives, thanks in part to support from Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township‘s congressman, Rep. Charlie Dent.
Dent was among the majority in the 289-139 vote to reauthorize the State Childrens’ Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The federal program, created in 1997 and modeled after similar legislation here in Pennsylvania, is predicted to cost $35 billion through 2014. The bill should be considered for passage by the U.S. Senate this week and, if approved, be sent on to the White House for signing.
“At a time when many people have lost their jobs and their healthcare coverage,” Dent said, “this legislation is critical to making sure that all children have access to quality health care.” He estimated that, of 184,000 Pennsylvania children who receive health care coverage under SCHIP, about 10,000 live in the PA 15th Congressional District that includes Lower Pottsgrove.
Participating SCHIP families must meet certain income eligibility requirements to be able to purchase affordable and comprehensive health insurance for their kids. The coverage includes payments for routine check-ups, immunizations and prescription drugs.
Nationwide, nearly 9.4 million children under the age of 19 are uninsured. Of those, according to stete estimates, 138,560 are uninsured Pennsylvanians.
Photo from Clipart.com