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Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Urges General Assembly to Support Children's Health Insurance Program
Date:6/24/2009

CHIP, Pa's recognized children's health-care leader, may be faced with harsh decisions

FOLSOM, Pa., June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell said today that Pennsylvania families should not have to worry about losing health insurance for their children -- especially during hard economic times -- and urged the General Assembly to adequately fund the Children's Health Insurance Program in the upcoming state budget.

"The nation is experiencing one of the most significant economic downturns that many of us have ever known," Governor Rendell said during a visit to the Loving Care Children's Learning Center in Folsom. "Now is the time to be sure that important safety nets like the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, continue to offer health insurance to children in need of coverage and care.

"Many children enrolled in CHIP come to us because their parents have lost their job and benefits. That is why I included funding in my budget proposal that would allow an additional 24,000 children to enroll in CHIP."

Standing in the same classroom where he announced the "Cover All Kids" expansion of CHIP in 2006, the Governor said the spending plan developed and passed by Senate Republicans would cut his proposed budget for the nationally-recognized CHIP program by nearly $8 million.

"Two years ago, I stood here to announce we were able to expand the CHIP program to cover all uninsured children. Today, more than 11,000 children are in CHIP who would not have eligible prior to that expansion. Because of all our good work Pennsylvania's CHIP program stands as a model for the nation and parents tell me all the time how well their children are doing because of CHIP coverage and care. We cannot allow budget cuts to erode the success of this essential program.

"The Senate's cuts could translate into less coverage for almost 12,000 children and would
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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