DUMONT – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, the Vice Chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing on Congressional efforts to override President Bush’s veto on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a program which provides federal funds to State efforts to offer health care access to the uninsured:
“NJ FamilyCare, which relies heavily on federal funds to accomplish its mission of providing health care access to the uninsured, is in jeopardy due to the federal Administration’s failure to recognize the importance of SCHIP. We need Congress to take a stand for the uninsured, and reverse the President’s veto, in order to continue quality care for those in greatest need.
“The FamilyCare program ensures valuable, affordable health care to all. This program has been providing access to care for New Jersey’s working poor and middle class families since 1997. It makes primary care a priority, allowing uninsured kids to see a doctor, and avoid the health care hazards of putting off regular check-ups and medical care until their health can no longer be ignored, and they must be treated in an emergency room setting.
“Since its inception, FamilyCare has been able to meet its health care obligations by utilizing federal funds made available through the federal SCHIP program. However, with the President’s veto on legislation reauthorizing SCHIP, the future of FamilyCare is murky at best.
“Congress has the power to set things right, and override the President’s veto of the program. We hope that they will use this opportunity to stand up with the working class and middle income families who cannot afford the high cost of health care in the United States. Without strong Congressional leadership, access to quality care will be impossible for millions of families around the nation.”