Future Physicians Praise Obama Administration For Swift Action On SCHIP Legislation

February 6, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the nation’s oldest and largest, independent association for physicians-in-training, praises the Obama administration for taking swift action on signing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) into law.

Included in the most recent legislation is the Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act, which rectifies the current injustice that legal immigrants are restricted from accessing health care through SCHIP or Medicaid until they have resided in the United States for five years.

“AMSA has advocated for the renewal of SCHIP since President Bush first vetoed the legislation,” says Dr. Brian Hurley, AMSA national president. “Medical students across the country participated in a lobby day in 2007 and have since been asking for increased funding for this and other crucial programs that expand access to care. The quick response by Obama’s team is evidence of the changing Washington environment and as future physicians; we are excited for what is to come as our nation’s leaders approach health care reform.”

The renewed, joint state-federal program has expanded by an additional $32.8 billion; to be paid for by raising the cigarette tax from 39 cents a pack to $1. There are eight million uninsured children in the country.

Since Congress first authorized SCHIP in 1997, the percentage of uninsured children in America has fallen by 24 percent. SCHIP was originally established in 1997 by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to account for the growing number of uninsured children. The program provides a capped amount of federal matching funds to states for coverage of children whose families’ incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid, but for whom private health insurance is either unavailable or unaffordable.

AMSA supports state and national improvements to public programs, including SCHIP, expansions in eligibility and/or services in Medicaid, Medicare and uncompensated care pools. For additional information on the health benefits granted to minors who are legal immigrants to the United States, please visit: http://www.amsa.org/legislativecenter/immigranthealth.cfm.

About the American Medical Student Association

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), with more than a half-century history of medical student activism, is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. With more than 67,000 members, including medical and premedical students, residents and practicing physicians, AMSA is committed to improving medical training as well as advancing the profession of medicine. AMSA focuses on four strategic priorities, including advocating for quality, affordable health care for all, global health equity, enriching medicine through diversity and professional integrity, development and student well being.

American Medical Student Association

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]


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