Menendez Strongly Supports NJ State Lawsuit Targeting Administration Limits On Children's Health Coverage

Menendez Strongly Supports NJ State Lawsuit Targeting Administration Limits On Children's Health Coverage

Menendez led Senate 43 colleagues in urging president to roll back restrictions last month

Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today spoke in strong support of New Jersey's announcement that the state will file a lawsuit against the Bush administration for its new limits on the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Last month, Sen. Menendez led 43 Senate colleagues in urging the president to withdraw those limits (http://menendez.senate.gov/pdf/menendezsmithschiplettertobush091007.pdf).

Menendez is also an original co-sponsor of Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-MA) recently-introduced legislation that would block the restrictions.

"In Congress and on the state level, we are standing up to the president's misguided plans to restrict health coverage for children who have nowhere else to turn," said Sen. Menendez. "This is a matter of values - do we value our children and do our actions match our values? The administration's actions do not.

"As a senator who led 43 of my colleagues in urging the president to reconsider his uncompassionate attempt to cut kids off the program, I support and applaud Governor Corzine and Attorney General Milgram for filing suit to block these limits."

In August, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) laid out these new restrictions regarding CHIP in a letter to state health officials - restrictions that apply to states covering or seeking to cover children from families with incomes above 250 percent of the federal poverty level. Because of the high cost of living in the state, New Jersey, with prior approval from the Bush administration, covers children from families that make up to 350 percent of the federal poverty level.

The bill to improve CHIP that gained final passage in Congress last week would at least temporarily roll back the new CMS restrictions. President Bush has threatened to veto that bill.

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