Clinton Promises Federal Aid Help Fund Health Insurance For Children

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) speaking before 2,500 elected officials at the National Association of Counties'annual convention in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday said that if elected,she would shift federal funding from Iraq to domestic needs, includingmoney that would expand SCHIP to cover nine million uninsured children,the AP/Newport News Daily Press reports.

Clintoncriticized President Bush for repeatedly threatening to veto bills thatwould expand SCHIP and wasting resources on the war in Iraq. Accordingto Clinton, the 45 million uninsured U.S. residents have been"invisible to the president for the last six-and-a-half years" (Lewis,AP/Newport News Daily Press, 7/18).

She said, "Howabout reversing our priorities? Let's ... start insuring every singlechild." Clinton indicated that if elected, she would use SCHIP as astep toward universal health care, the Virginian-Pilot reports. She is expected to unveil additional details of her health plan in the coming weeks.

Clintonon Tuesday also said that she would use money diverted from the Iraqwar to increase the safety of imported food (Nuckols, Virginian-Pilot, 7/18).

Nursing Shortage

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In another campaign appearance, Clinton on Monday addressed health careproviders, nursing students and educators at the Binghamton University Decker School of Nursingin New York, where she said the growing nationwide shortage of nursesmust be remedied in order for improvements to be made to the U.S.health care system, the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletinreports. Clinton noted that a shortage of nursing school faculty haslead to dangerously low annual numbers of nursing school graduates.

Shesaid, "If you think you have a problem (related to health care) now, itwill only get much more difficult" if the problem is not fixed. Alongwith Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Clinton has re-introduced legislation ( S 1604)intended to boost the number of nurses in rural areas and nursingschool faculty nationwide, as well as create patient safety practicesfor nursing schools.

Clinton on Monday also explained that thenation is now ready for a national health care system, although notlike the one she unsuccessfully promoted as first lady in the 1990s."The difference between now and then is people have firsthandexperience of why it needs to change," Clinton said, adding, "It's moreand more likely I will have a CEO come up and see me and say, 'Dosomething about health care.' I think the political atmosphere haschanged. The solution is really open for debate" (Wilber, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, 7/18).

Planned Parenthood Forum

In related news, the campaigns of the three leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund forum spoke about women's health issues and plans to expand health insurance coverage, the New York Times reports. Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) spoke at the forum, along with Elizabeth Edwards -- who spoke on behalf of her husband, former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) (New York Times, 7/18).

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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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