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WORKING TO INCREASE ENROLLMENT OF UNINSURED CHILDREN
"We know when a child can't see a blackboard clearly or hear the teacher precisely or pay attention to anything other than his or her own pained breathing, they aren't going to be able to learn. CHIP and Medicaid can change all that for millions of people."
President Bill Clinton
Tuesday, October 12, 1999
Today, in an address to the American Academy of Pediatrics in Washington, DC., President Clinton unveiled a series of new actions to enroll millions of uninsured children who are eligible for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The President also challenged Congress to pass critical health care initiatives, including a strong, enforceable patients' bill of rights and the Work Incentives Improvement Act. He criticized the Republican leadership for rejecting proposals which would help prevent youth smoking and increase funding for childhood immunization, children's health insurance outreach, medical education at children's hospitals, and the health care safety net of public hospitals and clinics.
Taking Action to Insure Children. President Clinton announced new federal efforts to identify and enroll the millions of uninsured children who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. These efforts include:
- Releasing a report detailing the hundreds of federal activities and accomplishments in identifying and enrolling eligible children. These activities include:
- involving AmeriCorps members in outreach;
- providing information to grandparents through Social Security and Medicare mailings on health insurance options for children; and
- enlisting income tax assistance volunteers to inform families about children's health insurance as they file their taxes.
- Directing cabinet secretaries, at the request of the Vice President, to develop strategies to integrate children's health insurance outreach into schools;
- Sending new guidance to states and schools on funding options for school-based outreach; and
- Dedicating over $9 million in research funds through a public-private partnership to identify effective children's health insurance strategies.
Urging Congress to Protect Children's Health. President Clinton called on Congress to pass a strong, enforceable patients' bill of rights and the Jeffords-Kennedy-Roth-Moynihan Work Incentives Improvement Act. The President criticized the Republican leadership for falling short on critical children's health issues, including:
- failing to address the problem of youth smoking;
- failing to invest in children's health insurance outreach;
- jeopardizing childhood immunization rates;
- short-changing graduate medical education at children's hospitals; and
- underfunding public hospitals and clinics which provide health care to the uninsured.
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