PROVIDENCE— Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts issued a statement today regarding the passage of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate and the promised veto by President Bush. The measure that would increase federal funding for the program by $35 billion over the next five years passed the House 265-159 and the Senate 67-29.
“Working families in Rhode Island should take pride in the efforts of our Congressional delegation to provide the tools we need as a state to make sure every child has health insurance. As I continue my work to increase access to quality health care we all can afford, this federal expansion will help us find a way to cover the remaining 19,000 uninsured children in Rhode Island and help provide budget relief in these difficult times.
“I find it particularly disheartening that President Bush would hold this bi-partisan legislation that has broad community support hostage in favor of political and ideological infighting. The expansion promotes the health of our families and provides Rhode Island with the aid we need to continue our effective health care coverage for children.
“Leadership means making the right choices in difficult times. President Bush must put aside partisan politics, sign this expansion and begin secure children the fundamental right to health insurance that all of us deserve. I urge the President to change his position, sign this legislation and give hope to the 9 million children in this country without health insurance.”