For Immediate Release
June 16, 2009
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Washington, DC—Today, Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman issued the following statement in response to the release of Senator Robert Casey’s (D-PA) resolution calling for children to be a centerpiece of health reform:
“I thank and strongly support Senator Robert Casey’s Senate resolution that ‘Congress should ensure that reform of our nation’s health care system shall benefit all children and that no child shall be worse off.’ He further urges that ‘low income children should not be moved into a health care exchange that could disrupt or diminish their benefits, cost-sharing protections, availability of care standards and protections, and access to support, services and safety net providers.’
“Everyone in America should have affordable health coverage now and the Children’s Defense Fund believes that all children should be a centerpiece of health reform. Any national health reform proposal must:
- Guarantee all children affordable health coverage regardless of the state or family they live in and establish a national eligibility floor of 300% of the Federal Poverty Level ($66,150 for a family of four);
- Guarantee all children comprehensive child appropriate benefits provided Medicaid children (EPSDT) which includes vital mental health coverage. Children are not little adults; and
- Create a simple non-bureaucratic system to ensure children get and stay enrolled. The dual bureaucratic child health system in states (Medicaid and CHIP) denies coverage to 6 million currently eligible children.
“The Children’s Defense Fund will do everything possible to ensure our nation provides long overdue health care for all children this year as we seek to cover all Americans. Children are the most cost effective investment we can make and will prevent far greater health care costs and suffering that neither children nor parents and tax payers can afford.
“I applaud Senator Casey’s leadership and urge all Senators to act on his resolution as they vote on any national health reform proposal this year.”
For more information about the Children’s Defense Fund, visit staging.childrensdefense.org.