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For Immediate Release:
January 14, 2009
Contact: Austin Durrer


  Legislation Is Likely to be One of the First Bills
Signed into Law by President Obama

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Jim Moran today joined a majority in the House of Representatives in support of bipartisan legislation to provide health care to 11 million children in modest-income families.  The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act was approved by a vote of 289-139. The bill is very similar to the legislation that President Bush vetoed twice in the 110th Congress.

“No child in Northern Virginia or anywhere else in the country should ever go without medical care,” stated Moran. “I was proud to back a plan to help improve the health and chance for success for 11 million children, reduce the much more costly use of emergency rooms for primary care, and move us closer to providing every child in our nation with affordable, high-quality health care.”

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was created in 1997 to provide health care coverage for children in families that earn too little to afford health insurance for their children themselves but too much to qualify for Medicaid.  In Virginia, the CHIP program currently provides coverage to 144,163 low-income children each year. The CHIP Reauthorization Act will cover an additional 75,000 children, ensuring these kids have access to high quality health care, including the preventative services needed to be healthy and successful in school and later in life. This bill will provide dental and mental health benefits on par with medical and surgical services – truly ensuring that the whole child’s health is provided for.

This legislation reauthorizes the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) through FY 2013 and preserves the coverage for all 7.1 million children currently covered by SCHIP, including preserving the coverage of 144,163 children in Virginia.

The bill also extends health care coverage to 4.1 million additional low-income children nationwide who are currently uninsured.

SCHIP is fully paid for by raising the tobacco tax by 61 cents.  Raising the tobacco tax also promotes children’s health – by discouraging children from smoking.  According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a 61-cent increase in the tobacco tax means that 1,873,000 fewer children will take up smoking.



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