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Jewish leaders join health care talks

U.S. Jewish leaders gathered to speak about expanding health care coverage to all American children. Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, spoke with other religious leaders and the Jewish Council of Public Affairs at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday. The group wants the U.S. Congress to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, which will expire at the end of the fiscal year. The leaders, joining together through nonprofit health care advocate Families USA, include representatives from the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Council of Churches USA, the Islamic Society of North America, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Church of God in Christ and the Salvation Army. Children’s health care has been in the spotlight in the Washington area since an uninsured 12-year-old Maryland boy died Feb. 25 of an infection caused by a toothache. Companies that provide services under Medicare are more cautious about SCHIP, according to the weekly newspaper The Hill, as they fear the program’s expansion will come at their expense.