Health Insurance Access for All Children Through State Children's Health Insurance Program

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Children's Health Insurance Program

A strong majority of American voters support expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover more eligible children. Easter Seals and the Autism Society of America (ASA) conducted a research study in December 2006, funded by Pfizer, to determine the public opinion on SCHIP. Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research surveyed more than 800 registered voters December 19-21, 2006 about SCHIP perceptions, barriers to enrollment, possible improvement proposals, and their personal opinions.

The survey's findings underscore that a lack of health care coverage for children is a very serious problem facing this country.

Health insurance survey findings:

  • 77 percent of those surveyed categorized children not having health insurance as a very serious problem

  • 79 percent are in favor of continuing the State Children's Health Insurance Program at the cost of $6-8 billion over the next 10 years

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  • 78 percent were opposed to cutting services in the State Children's Health Insurance Program and spreading funds out to cover more children

"The research reinforces the continual need for the SCHIP program and the services it offers to children," states Katherine Beh Neas, Easter Seals director of Congressional Affairs. "The public recognizes the importance of providing health insurance to all children. So should Congress."

With revisions to SCHIP under review this year, Easter Seals is urging Congress to fully fund this critical health insurance program so all children, including those with disabilities and other special health care needs, have access to the range of services they need.

Today, nearly 10 million children are without health care. More are underinsured for the services that they need and still others are at risk of losing their coverage. Families lacking health insurance are less able to access needed care. They are often forced to choose between paying for food, rent and other necessities and the health services that their child needs to learn and grow.

"Providing all children with the opportunity to receive needed health care and services is a serious issue in the country today," says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. "Easter Seals is a strong advocate for the State Children's Health Insurance Program and the services it provides. And, we're working with other advocates for children to ensure all children have the ability to live healthy lives."

Visit http://www.easterseals.com to learn more about the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and other legislation currently proposed in Congress.

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