Proposed Bill would cover 133,000 more Pennsylvania children
HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With former Pennsylvania Governor and Attorney General Richard Thornburgh visiting Harrisburg for a hearing and other events relating "tort reform" and health care, the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association invited Mr. Thornburgh to participate in a meeting to discuss strategies of passing the Children's Health Insurance Program funding and expansion. The bi-partisan bill, vetoed by President Bush, would enable the program to cover every eligible child in Pennsylvania, adding 133,000 children to the CHIP rolls (presently about 164,000 children). The text of the letter follows:
As you know, President Bush vetoed the funding and expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that would have provided needed health care coverage for an extra 3.8 million uninsured children nationally. This bill was passed by Congress on a bipartisan basis in which both parties compromised a great deal.
The CHIP program now provides care for 164,000 Pennsylvania children whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private health insurance. Under the compromise bill, the state would be able to add all of the remaining 133,000 uninsured children to the CHIP rolls -- this would be a fundamental step for Pennsylvania. CHIP was pioneered here in Pennsylvania and is one of the most successful government programs devised in recent years. Adequate funding would not only improve the health of our nation's children, but would also address uncompensated care costs and lessen the burden on emergency rooms which are presently the last resort for treating common childhood ailments. Relieving the pressure on emergency rooms would undoubtedly lead to a reduction of avoidable errors. The nation has reached a consensus that this is a significant and costly problem.
We ask that you meet with us on October 22 at your convenience to discuss ways that we can convince a deadlocked Washington that we need SCHIP to receive its funding and an expansion to provide health care for children in need. Let's use your visit to Harrisburg to begin a dialogue on a health care matter that's truly meaningful. Let's work together to bring health care to millions of children who badly need it. We will be in contact with your office, but for further information or to set a time, you may contact Anthony Green at 215.546.6451.x101.
Tim Riley, Esq. William M. George President President Pa. Trial Lawyers Association AFL-CIO David Fillman Eileen Connelly Executive Director Executive Director AFSCME Council SEIU Pa. State Council
SOURCE Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association