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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Kerry in The Hill: Health insurance for every child in America (5/10)

Looks like amongst everything else, John Kerry is going to be pushing for some action on the Kids First Act:

Health insurance for every child in America
By Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)

American families put kids first every day. They work hard to give their children opportunities they never had. It’s called the American dream.

But in Washington, D.C., today, our government is making that dream almost unattainable, as 11 million children in America go without health insurance.

(snip)

Insuring every child won’t require big tax hikes or new bureaucracy. We can provide health insurance coverage for every kid in America if we simply roll back the president’s tax cut for individuals making over $300,000 a year.

Another way to look at it is that we could insure every child in America for the next 10 years for half of what it has cost us to occupy Iraq over the past three years.


(snip)

Instead of dumping the problem on cash-strapped states, my proposal offers states a new bargain: the national government will give states immediate financial relief in exchange for a commitment not only to cover all kids but to make sure they get the coverage for which they’re eligible. This will cut the red tape that results in the huge gap between the kids who are eligible and those who actually get covered.

Under my plan, states will save over $6 billion per year.

Parents deserve a new bargain, too. We should help them buy employer-sponsored coverage where available. And we will allow parents who don’t normally qualify for public programs to buy coverage for their children at cost. Parents’ side of the bargain is to take advantage of these opportunities to get their kids covered or forfeit the child tax credit on their federal tax returns.

We spent much of 2005 building our coalition of support. Now is the time to put our citizen soldiers into action. We will push for accountability on Kids First in this election year — a vote on the Senate floor that will separate those who talk about family values and those who really value families.

When it comes to getting kids healthcare coverage, it’s a promise we can afford to keep — and one we cannot afford to break. Every child deserves a healthy start in life.

I wish I could post the whole thing here...it's worth the read.

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