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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Bush takes away $1.1 billion from poor children's health insurance

By Ceci Connolly, Washington Post:
In his convention address in New York, President Bush announced a new $1 billion initiative to enroll "millions of poor children" in two popular government health programs. But next week, the Bush administration plans to return $1.1 billion in unspent children's health funds to the U.S. Treasury, making his convention promise a financial wash at best.

The loss of $1.1 billion in federal money means six states participating in the State Children's Health Insurance Program face budget shortfalls in 2005; it is enough money to provide health coverage for 750,000 uninsured youngsters nationwide, according to two new analyses by advocacy organizations.

"If the Bush administration really cared about covering uninsured children, one of the things it could do immediately is make sure this $1 billion is used for SCHIP," said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families. "The irony is this president talks constantly about not leaving any child behind and how he is going to cover so many kids. In truth, that ended up being false. He's just moving money around."

Article continues at the Washington Post website.


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