January 29, 2009
Senator Harry Reid made the following statement today after the U.S. Senate
passed H.R.2, Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009,
ensuring children they get the doctor visits and medicines they need when
they're sick and the checkups they need to stay well:
"Mrs. Cervantes works for a non-profit organization called 'Family Ties Nevada' that offers support and services for families with children with special needs. For her, this is not just a job but a central life calling, because Adrian is a child with special needs. Adrian has Down syndrome.
"Mr. Sanchez works in the hospitality industry that employs many working Nevadans. His job as a banquet server is subject to the whims of Las Vegas's tourism industry, and his income is largely comprised of tips.
"Few places in America have been hit as hard by the recession as Las Vegas. As a consequence, times have been tough for Mr. Sanchez and his family. As any family with a child with special needs knows, health care bills can pile up fast. Adrian has undergone two surgeries, including an open-heart surgery, and several other major medical operations. Despite the trauma and challenges that the 8-year old had to face, Adrian is a tough boy, and he is fortunate to have such good parents.
"When Mr. Sanchez is consistently employed, the family's income is too high to be eligible for Medicaid. Until 1996, the Sanchez family and millions just like them, living in every neighborhood and state in our country, would have nowhere to turn for health insurance. Their income too high for Medicaid, they can't afford private insurance.
"President Clinton worked with those of us in Congress to create the Children's Health Insurance Program, targeted directly to the working-class families who fill the gap between poverty and the middle class.
"Few government programs in our time have enjoyed such great success, as acknowledged by members of both parties and all bipartisan health care experts. Because we created the Children's Health Insurance Program, the Sanchez family can provide their son with the doctor's appointments, medicine and intensive care he needs.
"But millions of children like Adrian are still not covered – and still don't receive the care they need. For every Adrian Sanchez the Children's Health Insurance Program helps, every single United States Senator could recount the story of other children in their own states – children of families that can't afford private insurance but have no less a right to quality care.
"That's why Democrats and many Republicans came together in the last Congress to make the reach of this successful program broader. Both the House and Senate passed the Children's Health Insurance bill with overwhelming bipartisan support. But former President Bush made the terribly misguided decision to veto the legislation, and just a few too many Republican loyalists in the House of Representatives prevented us from overriding his veto.
"For the past year and a half, millions of families continued to lack the health care their children needed. Today, the United States Senate will do its part to redeem one of many mistakes of the Bush Administration by passing the Children's Health Insurance bill, moving us closer to the promise that every American child has the right to grow up strong and healthy.
"I applaud not just the content of this legislation, but the legislative process as well. The original bill was written with strong bipartisan cooperation in committee. The amendment process in committee was fair and open. I understand that some Republicans were not pleased with the result of the amendment process. I also know that some Democrats would have preferred a more expansive bill. On the floor, the bill has again received a fair and lengthy review.
"Our work on this bill can and should serve as a model for future debates in this Congress, as both Democrats and Republicans were heard with an outcome that reflects the wishes of a majority of the United States Senate. What could be more fair?
"I appreciate the tireless work that Chairman Baucus and Chairman Rockefeller put into this legislation. I also thank Senators Grassley and Hatch for working with us on this legislation for the past several years.
"The day the President signs this legislation – giving more children like Adrian Sanchez access to the care they deserve – will be a signature accomplishment of this Congress and the new Administration."
RenoBruce R. Thompson
Courthouse & Federal Bldg
400 S. Virginia St, Suite 902
Reno, NV 89501
Washington DC522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Toll Free for Nevadans:
Carson City600 East William St, #304
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: 775-882-REID (7343)
Las VegasLloyd D. George Building
333 Las Vegas Boulevard
South, Suite 8016
Las Vegas, NV 89101