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ACP-ASIM Applauds Expansion of Medicaid and SCHIP Programs

July 15, 2002

(Washington, DC): The American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) applauds the July 11 vote by the Senate Finance Committee to approve The Family Opportunity Act (S. 321). The legislation grants states the flexibility to extend Medicaid coverage to disabled children from middle-class families whose incomes are up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

ACP-ASIM also supports the committee's approval of The Mothers and Newborns Health Insurance Act of 2002 (S. 724). The legislation would allow states to enroll low-income pregnant women in Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) plans.

"These two pieces of legislation will provide much needed help to families with disabled children, as well as making sure pregnant women get the prenatal care they need," said ACP-ASIM President Sara Walker, MD, MACP. "America's doctors of internal medicine urge the full Senate to support both pieces of legislation."

ACP-ASIM released a plan earlier this year to provide all Americans with affordable health insurance within seven years. One of the plan's important components was a proposal to expand eligibility for Medicaid and SCHIP.

"The ACP-ASIM's plan proposes that the expanded coverage of Medicaid and SCHIP be mandatory, not optional, as in the Senate legislation," said Dr. Walker. "Still, the Finance Committee's vote to expand SCHIP and Medicaid to the poor and near-poor is consistent with steps proposed in our seven year plan and a good start."

"The Family Opportunity Act provides much needed assistance to families so that disabled children may reach their full potential," said Dr. Walker. "Likewise, the Mothers and Newborns Health Insurance Act will help pregnant women receive the prenatal care that is so important for healthy mothers and babies. Such care prevents needless suffering and provides long term savings for the medical system."

The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine is the largest medical specialty organization and the second largest medical organization in the nation. Membership encompasses over 115,000 internal medicine physicians, as well as medical students.

Jack Pope, (202) 261-4556, jpope@acponline.org
Jennifer Whalen, (202) 261-4575, jennw@acponline.org

Page updated: 11-03-03

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