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Letter to Senators for holding hearing on S-CHIP

July 24, 2006
The Honorable Charles Grassley
United States Senate
Finance Committee
Washington, DC
The Honorable Max Baucus
Ranking Member
United States Senate
Finance Committee
Washington, DC
Dear Senators:
Thank you for holding a hearing on the Children’s Health Insurance Program to review its decade of helping provide health insurance to millions of America’s children.
Consumers Union, the independent, non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, believes that S-CHIP, combined with the defined benefit entitlement of Medicaid, has been an absolute lifesaver to millions of lower-income Americans struggling to raise children in an era of soaring healthcare costs. The program has truly been an investment in a healthier American future.
We hope that this hearing will be the first step in ensuring that this program is extended next year. We also hope that the lessons from the first ten years will be used to expand the program and to develop a system that ensures that all America’s children always have access to affordable, quality healthcare.
As you know, in Consumer Reports we rate products like cars and televisions from excellent to poor depending on their quality. Surely, one would have to rate as ‘poor’ any health system of a rich, industrial nation that failed to ensure care for over 8 million of its future workers and voters. S-CHIP and Medicaid, despite their tremendous help to so many Americans, have still left far too many without dependable quality healthcare.
We hope that this ten year anniversary hearing will be the first step in ending this national disgrace and bringing us a healthcare system that could be rated ‘excellent.’
Thank you again for your work on this key family and consumer issue.
William Vaughan
Senior Policy Analyst
Washington Office