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Hispanic Leaders Urge President Bush to Sign SCHIP Bill

Over 1 million Hispanic children would be helped by reauthorization of

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "We agree with Senator Orrin Hatch, one of the fathers of the SCHIP program who said, 'Covering these children is worth every cent,'" said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation's leading Hispanic health advocacy group.

"The Senate and House have voted for the children of America's laboring families, but now it is time to get the job done! Mr. President, you will make a lasting difference for America's families by signing SCHIP legislation being delivered to your desk by Congress," continued Dr. Delgado.

Last night, in a vote of 67 to 29, the Senate overwhelmingly passed reauthorization legislation for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), following passage by the House on Tuesday by a vote of 265-159. The legislation is being prepared for the President's desk.

"We congratulate Congress on taking action to reauthorize SCHIP, but the clock is ticking. Millions of working families will lose health insurance for their children, unless the President signs the bill before the program expires on September 30th -- a step the President should take for America's laboring families," urged Dr. Delgado.

The Alliance applauded Congress on several components of the legislation, including:

-- Retention of a $1 tobacco tax to finance the legislation.

-- Coverage of 4 million children, including over 1 million Hispanic

children, who would otherwise be uninsured.

-- Inclusion of limited English proficient outreach provisions for SCHIP

enrollment of children, including a 75% federal match to state funds

for such outreach.

According to Dr. Delgado, "While we are disappointed that the final legislation did not eliminate the 5-year ban for receiving Medicaid or SCHIP for legal immigrant children, we are confident that states will continue to use state-only funds to cover the 200,000 to 300,000 children that are affected by the ban which will stay in effect."

Dr. Delgado concluded, "We look forward to the President continuing his commitment to children by signing SCHIP legislation this weekend.'"

About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health

The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation's foremost source of information and trusted advocate for the health of Hispanics in the United States. The Alliance represents thousands of Hispanic health providers across the nation providing services to more than 14 million each year, making a daily difference in the lives of Hispanic communities and families. For more information, visit or call the Alliance's Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline at 1-866-783-2645.

SOURCE National Alliance for Hispanic Health
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