Sunday, July 21, 2024

Health Insurance for Millions of Latino Children

President Obama signed a bill  into law yesterday which expands the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by roughly $35 billion over the next five years. The bill was passed 290 to 135 with nearly all Democrats voting for it and all Republicans opposing it.

The bill will provide federally funded health care to an estimated 4 million children, including 1.5 million uninsured Hispanic children. The SCHIP law will include coverage for legal immigrant children and pregnant women and financing through a 61 cent increase in the federal tobacco tax to $1. Since August 2007, the House voted at least seven times IN FAVOR OF this legislation, but each time it was vetoed by PRESIDENT Bush.

This program is intended to cover children in families that earn too much to qualify to Medicaid but not enough to afford private health insurance.

“Today President Obama made a significant down payment on his commitment to make health insurance accessible for all,” says Dr. Jane Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation’s leading Hispanic health advocacy group.

“All children deserve the opportunity of a healthy start in life and SCHIP is a smart use of public funds. Under the SCHIP reauthorization, the annual cost to provide health insurance to an additional 4 million children in modest-income families is less than half the $18 billion recently reported that Wall Street executives paid themselves in bonuses,” adds Dr. Delgado.

Until this law, legal immigrants have not been permitted to use Medicaid and the SCHIP Program for five years after they entered the United States. Now, they will be covered without having to wait this 5 year period.

Hispanic Health

La Opinión