Easter Seals, autism and SCHIP

A grandmother commented to last month’s blog about the expansion of SCHIP. She was concerned about her grandson – he has autism and needs dental insurance, but the family doesn’t qualify for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

SCHIP is a top legislative priority here at Easter Seals. We have been working to see that all children who are eligible for its coverage can be enrolled.

Nearly 4 million children are eligible, but can’t get the coverage because of funding limitations.

Last week, President Bush vetoed SCHIP legislation that Easter Seals supports. The bill that was sent to the President would make it easier for children to get health services, including dental services — the very thing the concerned grandmother who commented to our blog needs for her grandson with autism.

In addition, this bill would have allowed states to use SCHIP funds to enable a child to be enrolled in his/her parent’s insurance plan, making it easier for everyone because the family would only have to navigate one insurance plan’s rules.

There is still a chance that Congress can reverse the President’s veto and the improvements to SCHIP can become law. Take action — tell your senators and representatives to override the President’s veto of SCHIP.

When our national convention is held in Washington, D.C. next week, we will take our message to Capitol Hill. SCHIP must be strengthened and continued — our nation’s children deserve the right to be healthy.


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