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UJC wants SCHIP passed, despite veto threat


United Jewish Communities urged passage of a children’s health bill that President Bush has vowed to veto.

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program extends the current program, which covers 5 million children, and expands it to reach some 4 million children believed to be uninsured because there parents cannot afford health insurance but do not qualify for Medicaid.

“SCHIP has set a new example for health delivery in this nation,” William Daroff, the director of the federations umbrella’s Washington office, said in an earlier letter to the Senate Finance Committee quoted in a press release Thursday urging passage. “UJC hopes Congress will act quickly and decisively to ensure health coverage for the millions of American children and families that depend on it.”

The Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives hope to pass the $35 billion increase before breaking for the summer. It has strong bipartisan support. Bush has vowed to veto it, saying it veers close to socialized medicine. His proposal is to simply extend the existing 10-year program, which is due to lapse this year.

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