johnson.jpgWashington, D.C. (August 1, 2007) 

Today, with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson's support, the House approved a bill renewing the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and reforming Medicare. CHIP provides grant money to states to provide health insurance for children whose families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

The CHIP portion of the bill is particularly important for Texas, which leads the nation in uninsured children.  If not renewed today, CHIP would have expired on September 30, leaving 11 million children with no health insurance.

"My vote in favor of this bill is a vote for Texas children," said Congresswoman Johnson.  "It is a travesty that a state with wealth such as ours should have 1.4 million children without health insurance."

Congresswoman Johnson said, "Millions of working families have been waiting for this day.  CHIP has been a godsend for so many children.  Consistent health care coverage helps them stay current with their immunizations, miss fewer school days and prevents more serious illness.  Otherwise, these kids fall through the cracks of our broken health care system."

The broad-based health care bill contains provisions for children, the poor and elderly, to increase access to cost-effective health care.  The legislation aims to bring 5 million more eligible children into the government health insurance program, in addition to the 6.6 million children already enrolled.  It also helps low-income adults afford their Medicare health insurance premiums and makes many preventative health services free.

"Anyone who opposes this bill is supporting the status quo," remarked the Congresswoman.  "My constituents have asked me to work to fix our health care system.  The current system is aimed at making a profit, rather than placing the highest priority on the people's health.  It is time for change.  I supported the bill that passed today because it's a step in the right direction."

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