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WASHINGTON, DC— Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement onthe agreement between the United States Senate and House of Representatives on theState Children’s Health Insurance Program. “CHIP has made access to health care possible for millions of America’s neediestchildren, and given them the opportunity for a healthy start in life. It’s a successfulprogram and should not be a partisan issue. Ten years ago when Senator Hatch and Icreated the program, we put politics aside to put children first. This Administration hasfailed on healthcare and our children are paying the price. This bill will allow children toget the quality healthcare they deserve, and should be signed into law before the programexpires next week. After watching hundreds of thousands of children lose their healthcoverage on his watch, it would be callous and cruel of the President to veto a measurethat brings hope to millions of children. Today’s agreement between the House and theSenate is a positive step forward, and I urge President Bush to listen to the Americanpeople and sign the bill into law.” Massachusetts SCHIP Fact Sheet• There are currently 112,000 children in Massachusetts that have no insurance• Massachusetts currently has 90,500 children enrolled in the Children’s HealthInsurance Programo They are currently enrolled at up to 300% of the federal poverty level($61,950 for family of four)• Under the bill, Massachusetts will receive an estimated $304.8 million in fiscalyear 2008o The Commonwealth needs $277 million to take care of the 90,500children currently enrolled in SCHIP for 2008.• With the current compromise version of the bill, Massachusetts could cover asmany as 27,400 children who are now uninsured over the next five years.• If Congress does nothing before September 30th and allows the program to expirewithout providing any funds, the Commonwealth is out of money as ofOCTOBER 1stFrom poll conducted by Children’s Hospital in Boston-• Nearly 7 in 10 Mass. voters (69%) want Congress to provide enough funding toexpand CHIP. Only 7% would favor keeping funding at current levels, whichwould result in dropping children from the program.• Massachusetts voters reject the argument that there are other more importantfunding priorities and they disagree that cutting taxes should take precedence overchildren’s health. About three quarters of voters reject both these arguments,including majorities of Republicans, Independents and Democrats, as well asvoters from all income levels. ###