WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement marking the first day of "Cover the Uninsured Week:"
"Today marks the beginning of 'Cover the Uninsured Week,' a week designed to remind us of the plight of far too many Americans who lack health insurance. In 2007, 45 million Americans - including 9 million children - were uninsured, and that is an increase of some 6 million uninsured since President Bush took office. This is simply a national embarrassment that must be addressed.
"Appropriately, this year's 'Cover the Uninsured Week' campaign is focusing on the need to reauthorize and fully fund the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). SCHIP is vital to providing health care to children, with more than six million children currently enrolled. Without this program, the number of children with no health insurance would be even higher than its already too-high rate.
"Democrats have made strengthening SCHIP a priority. The House Budget includes funds to expand children's health coverage, and this summer, Congressional Democrats will work to reauthorize the SCHIP program.
"We have an obligation to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Congressional Democrats are committed to expanding health insurance to America's children."