ALEXANDRIA, VA – Late last evening, the House of Representatives introduced legislation that would make significant strides toward covering over half of the nation’s nine million uninsured Children. Introduced by Congressmen Dingell, Rangel, Pallone, and Stark, the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act (the CHAMP Act) provides $50 billion to reauthorize and improve the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This allocation will protect the healthcare coverage of the six million children currently covered by CHIP, in addition to assuring coverage for approximately five million new eligible but uninsured children.

First Focus President Bruce Lesley made the following remarks:

“Last night, legislation was introduced that would make healthcare available to more than half of the nine million uninsured children in America. I commend Congressmen Dingell, Rangel, Pallone, and Stark for their outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment to the allocation of $50 billion in this legislation.

This legislation includes virtually everything necessary to constitute a great bill for children.

The CHAMP Act would extend critical health services to an estimated five million uninsured children. A significant improvement from its Senate counterpart, its enactment is critical to show that Congress is committed to providing healthcare to each American child who needs it.

It is encouraging to see our members of Congress investing in a healthy start for our children’s future. I am heartened by this effort to do right by our nation’s kids.

As this legislation moves throughout the House, First Focus will work to ensure that these important funds and provisions remain in this legislation.

Unfortunately, this is not the principal challenge to the health and well-being of our nation’s children. Rather, it is the recurring veto threats by the Bush Administration that pose the most serious risk to the renewal of the CHIP program. It is wrong for the Administration to continue their attacks on what is the most popular and successful children’s program in over a decade. Furthermore, $50 billion constitutes only one-third of one percent of the federal budget.

Children are one quarter of our population, but all of our future. The Administration should remember that when it is waging these ideological attacks on healthcare for kids.”

Click Here for additional information on the CHAMP Act.