SCHIP change was right move

Published 10:01 am Friday, February 6, 2009

If you still have any doubts about the need for the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), we can give you 11 million reasons why Congress got it right.

That is the number of children across the nation that this will help. The plan will enable about 7 million children to continue getting coverage and allow another 4 million to sign up.

Americans consider ourselves world leaders and pioneers on the path of human rights and providing a quality of life for our citizens.

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Well that responsibility starts with the youngest of us whose families may not be able to provide the needed health care.

Obama even took this a step farther by issuing a directive Thursday that lifted tight restrictions put in place by the administration, rules that many legislators and officials believe were so strict that it prevented countless children in need from getting the care they deserve.

But, as most everyone acknowledges, this is only a small step toward reforming our nation’s health care system. And this will likely be a far easier battle to win than the ones looming on the horizon.

Political divisiveness, lobby groups, special interests and ideological differences will all have to be overcome before our nation’s health care situation will be able to be addressed.

These same roadblocks almost prevented the children’s health care programs from being renewed and expanded.

The House of Representatives had passed a similar bill but Bush and other Republicans opposed it enough to squash the measure more than a half a dozen times.

While it is easy to criticize the recent plan for its flaws, the most damaging thing for our children’s health would have been inaction.