United Ways of California Praises U.S. Senate
Los Angeles, CA
January 30, 2009
United Ways of California today applauded the U.S. Senate’s passage of a bill reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP. The bill, which is expected to be signed by President Obama, provides healthcare for 11 million children nationwide, including nearly a million in California.
“We commend the Senate for passage of the SCHIP reauthorization bill. This puts California one step closer to ensuring 900,000 children will continue to have access to preventive care and regular check-ups with doctors,” said Peter Manzo, president & CEO of United Ways of California.
SCHIP is the primary funding source for California’s Healthy Families program, which provides low-cost health insurance coverage to more than 900,000 California children. The program is critical for children whose parents work, but can’t afford private insurance. With the economic downturn, more families are losing employer-based coverage for their children, resulting in record enrollment in Healthy Families.
Manzo continued: “The average family health insurance premium is about 25% of the median California family income. Many California families simply can’t afford to pay that, particularly in today’s economic climate. This bill is a lifeline for children who would otherwise not have access to healthcare.”
President Obama is expected to sign the SCHIP bill as early as next week.