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Kids Group Scores Obama, Congress in 100 Days Report Card
Date:5/4/2009

Premier National child advocacy organization grades child health care reform 'incomplete'

WASHINGTON, May 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As he passes the 100 days milestone, President Obama continues to enjoy high ratings from Americans on a majority of issues, but both his administration and 111th Congress score an "incomplete" for child health care reform in a report card issued Monday by Voices for America's Children, a premier national child advocacy organization.

"The mandate of health care for all children is long overdue," said William Bentley, president and CEO of the nonpartisan Voices for America's Children (Voices). "If the nation's children were to hand us their own report card on our attempts at health care reform, it'd have to read 'incomplete.'"

Voices gave President Obama a "B" and Congress received a "B-" for their 100 days score. With the report card, Voices sought to remind elected officials that many of the jobs lost in the economic downturn also represent family benefits lost. On this issue, Voices praised President Obama for his leadership but added much more needs to be done.

"The passage of SCHIP was a great first step but cannot be a final step. It was projected to leave five million kids uninsured even after full implementation - and that was before the economic downturn," Bentley said.

As Congress begins to draft health care reform legislation, Bentley urged lawmakers to guarantee that health care for all children will become a reality this year. "As government officials propose bailouts and massive reinvestment, we must show them that the best rate of return comes from an investment in our future innovators, workers and caretakers - our children."

The report card gave high marks to President Obama on the subject of Early Head Start, Head Start and child care.

"To cite just one example, President Obama's commitment to quadruple funding for Early Head Start is fiscally and morally commendable," said Bentley. "Studies show that government programs for children get the most bang for their buck when we reach them early, yet Early Head Start only serves less than five percent of kids who are eligible."

                     100 Days Report Card On Children's Issues

    Subject                                          Congress     President
                                                                    Obama
    SCHIP                                                A-           A-
    Health care for kids                                 I            I
    Head Start                                           B            B
    Early Head Start                                     B+           A-
    Child Welfare reform                                 B-           B-
    Increase achievement for all kids, ages 0-8          C            A-
    State fiscal relief                                  B            B
    Poverty reduction effort                             C            C
    Child care                                           B            B
    Closing racial economic disparities                  C            C
    Overall                                              B-           B

Voices for America's Children is a premier nonpartisan advocacy organization committed to speaking out for the well-being of children at the local, state and federal levels of government. With 60 members nationwide, Voices advocates for effective public policies to improve the lives of all children throughout the United States. For more information, please visit www.voices.org.


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SOURCE Voices for America's Children
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