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WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement regarding a new Census Bureau report that shows the number of American children without insurance climbing by 700,000 in 2005 to a total of 8.7 million:
"Three years ago, when President Bush accepted his party's nomination, he said that he wanted to ensure that all children eligible for SCHIP were enrolled. He said that he would 'lead an aggressive effort to enroll millions of poor children who are eligible but not signed up for government health insurance programs. We will not allow a lack of attention, or information, to stand between these children and the health care they need.'
"Democrats share that goal and we have crafted fiscally responsible plans to achieve it. The Census Bureau report released today, which shows a sharp increase in the number of uninsured children, demonstrates the need for Congress to quickly act on this legislation.
"But now, in what can only be seen as a conversion borne of losses at the polls and political expediency, the President derides these efforts to protect the health of America's children and refers those without insurance to the emergency room.
"I hope today's report will encourage the President to end his partisan maneuvering and fulfill his pledge to lead the way in providing health coverage to children in need."