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Catholic Charities USA Calls on Congress and the President to Protect the Health of Children; Urges President Not to Veto Vitally Important Bill
Date:9/24/2007

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catholic Charities USA today urged Congress and the White House to avoid partisan positioning and instead come together to pass a comprehensive children's health insurance bill.

This week, the Congress is scheduled to vote on a compromise bill to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program, (SCHIP) a highly successful program that provides health insurance coverage to poor children. The program will expire on September 30th unless legislation is passed and signed to continue it, but President Bush has threatened to veto the compromise bill.

"Taking care of children without health coverage should not be a partisan issue," said Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA. "The compromise bill is a good step forward that will strengthen this critical program, provide more money for SCHIP, and expand eligibility to several million more of the 9 million children living without health insurance in this country.

"We strongly urge Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate to support SCHIP and to provide health insurance for more children in need," Father Snyder added. "Passage of this legislation is the right thing to do for America.

"It would be unconscionable if the White House and Congress weakened this valuable program- leaving millions of children without health coverage- when everyone agrees that the program works," Father Snyder said. "That is wrong, and it sends the wrong message about our nation's values."

In addition, Father Snyder sent a letter to President Bush urging him to sign the legislation.

"We are extremely disappointed that the president-just last week-reiterated his intent to veto this bi-partisan bill," Father Snyder said in a letter. "Mr. President, we call on you to keep your promise to America's children and sign this bill into law."

Catholic Charities USA is one of the nation's largest
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SOURCE Catholic Charities USA
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