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American Children Have A Higher Chance Of Dying Before Adulthood

American Children Have A Higher Chance Of Dying Before Adulthood

Dr. Mahendra Patel, a pediatric cancer doctor, has begun giving away medications to some of his patients, determined not to disrupt their treatments for serious illnesses like leukemia, should Congress fail to come up with renewed funding for a key children's health program now hostage to partisan politics. Orrin Hatch, who heads the Senate's Finance Committee, CBO Director Keith Hall said that a five-year extension of CHIP would cost the government $800 million over a 10-year period.

As members of Congress debate ways to pay for the program, Montoya said the prospect that he and his family may need several hundred dollars more per month to cover health care premiums is constantly on their minds.

A press conference was held Thursday at the Kanawha City Health Center in Charleston where health care advocates discussed the benefits of CHIP and the importance of continuing to serve the almost 21,000 West Virginia children who depend on the coverage. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said he plans to bring a six-year extension of CHIP to the floor for a vote next week. CBO has now estimated its cost assuming that it's reauthorized for a full ten years. By comparison, the tax overhaul passed in December is expected to add $1.8 trillion to the debt over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Had that accident happened this year, though, Natali, 50, of Aliquippa, Pa., might be scrambling.




Dr. Joanne Hilden, a pediatric cancer physician in Aurora, Colo., and past president of the American Society of Hematology-Oncology, said the families of cancer patients who depend on CHIP are in a hard position because they can't schedule care to be finished before program funding runs out. These low-income families need assurance CHIP payments will be there in the future.

ALL Kids, the Alabama program funded through CHIP, warned late past year that it would have to stop enrolling children into the program on January 1 and may run out of funding by February 1.

Since 1997, CHIP has provided healthcare to millions of Americans and helped to drastically reduce the uninsured rate of children. "They might not have a family physician, or a clear support system". Some states, including Minnesota, are using state dollars to fund the program. The health of 9 million American children shouldn't be compromised to put more money in the pockets of billionaires. "We will have to decide between their health and spending the money on something else", she said. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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