Menendez, Pallone Prepare To Debate The Future Of Children's Health Insurance Program In Seante And House

Menendez, Pallone Prepare To Debate The Future Of Children's Health Insurance Program In Seante And House

Newark - United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and United States Representative Frank Pallone today joined with child health advocates and beneficiaries of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) to call on Congress to approve the reauthorizing measures that will be before both the House and Senate this week. In New Jersey, S-CHIP, known as FamilyCare, provides health benefits for 126,000 children and over 80,000 adults, who would otherwise not have coverage.

"Congress is considering renewing the Children's Health Insurance Program on the floor this week. Since the program expires on September 30th this is what you might call game time-when we see who is willing to stand up for children's health care," said Sen. Menendez. "Recent comments from the President and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle concern me greatly. I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that no child goes to bed at night without proper health care and treatment."

In the Senate, Menendez has worked with I worked with members of the Finance Committee, including Chairman Baucus and Senator Rockefeller to ensure that New Jersey's program and our nation's children would be protected. The Senate measure, which could come to the floor as early as Monday evening, is a bipartisan bill that would provide $35 million for the program over five years.

In the House, Pallone is one of the authors of the Children's Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act. The legislation adds an additional $50 billion for CHIP over the next five years so states can enroll 5 million more eligible children.

"The CHAMP Act not only extends CHIP, but renews it in a way that provides states with the additional financial resources and tools they need to ensure more low-income children have access to quality health care," Pallone said. "This is practical legislation that deserves the support of both Congress and the President."

Menendez and Pallone were joined today by various local families whose children are enrolled in FamilyCare, including Carol Soares and her granddaughter, Stephanie, and Kayla Camino and her mother. Additionally, Ann Marie Arnold, who seeks to enroll her child in FamilyCare was present for the event.

"Since my daughter lost her health insurance, I live in constant fear of her getting sick," said SEIU Health Care member Ann Marie Arnold. Arnold is a nursing home caregiver in Newark. SEIU Health Care, 1 million members strong, is uniting health care workers across the country to help fix our broken health care system. She added, "Senator Menendez and Congressman Pallone thank you for fighting for our children in Washington."