Pelosi: Eliminating SCHIP Shortfalls Immediately Is Democrats' Top Health Priority

March 9, 2007
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in the emergency appropriations bill:

'The top health priority for House Democrats is immediately eliminating the funding shortfalls for the State Children's Health Insurance Program and significantly expanding the initiative later this year so millions of uninsured children can receive the medical care they need.

'While the Administration has continued to drag its feet on offering a real solution to this problem, we will eliminate the children's health care shortfalls in 14 states by including $750 million in the emergency appropriations bill.  These are new funds and do not represent a reallocation among the states - a solution the Administration continues to insist upon.  That plan is not supported by either Republican or Democratic Governors, and the Administration knows it is politically impossible to pass in Congress.  Taking funds away from some states to provide funds to other states is not a winning proposition

'The budget resolution, which will be debated later this month in the House, will contain a deficit-neutral reserve fund that will provide sufficient funding to insure all eligible children and thus lower the number of uninsured children by millions over the next five year.

'All major state and local organizations have called for making SCHIP funding a top priority.  In addition, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and many other groups across the political ideological spectrum have come together to ask Congress to make a major investment in our children's health.  Only the Administration seems out of touch with that effort; their budget does not even provide enough funding to maintain the current enrollment of children in the program, let alone expand it substantially.  The Administration needs to rethink its position.'