Rep. Markey Supports Bill to Cover More Than 90,000 Mass. Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to defy a veto threat from President Bush and pass bipartisan legislation to renew and improve the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee that has oversight responsibility for the SCHIP program, is a strong supporter of the program which currently provides coverage for 90,500 Massachusetts children.

“Every American child deserves a healthy start in life. The SCHIP program has worked for the past decade to ensure that those children who might otherwise slip through the cracks because their families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private insurance, have the health care coverage they need. I have been proud to support this program and I am proud to support it again today, not just for the children of Massachusetts, but for all American children,” said Rep. Markey.

This legislation will preserve SCHIP coverage for the 6.6 million children currently covered and extend coverage to 3.8 million children who are currently uninsured, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Current funding for the program expires on September 30th , and if this reauthorization legislation is vetoed, states like Massachusetts will be left without the funds they need to maintain coverage for the children in their states.

“The president has a history of choosing corporations over children, spending billions on tax cuts for millionaires and subsidies for his friends in big oil without batting an eyelash. But when it comes to giving our country’s poor children health care, he can’t find the heart to come up with the money. If he follows through on his veto threat, President Bush will be exposed as a ‘Compassionless Conservative’ and will dash the hopes of millions of working families who dreamed that they would be able to provide health care for their sick children. I urge him to reconsider and make the right choice for American children and families,” concluded Rep. Markey.


September 25, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836