The U.S. Conference of Mayors


WHEREAS, the number of uninsured children increased by 294,000 to almost 9 million from 2004 to 2005; and

WHEREAS, children without coverage are more likely to go without immunizations, and end up in emergency rooms when conditions could have been addressed sooner at the primary care level; and

WHEREAS,uninsured children get less medically necessary care, and are more likely to have unmet needs for care; and

WHEREAS, estimates are that 70 percent of all uninsured children are eligible for low-cost or free health care coverage under Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP); and

WHEREAS, many children are eligible for coverage but are not enrolled in existing programs because of bureaucratic barriers that make it difficult to obtain or keep coverage, are excluded from programs or go uninsured when their parents change jobs, or receive varying levels of services because program benefits vary from state to state; and

WHEREAS, SCHIP provides coverage to children in low-income families whose income exceeds Medicaid income eligibility limits; and

WHEREAS, every state has an SCHIP program, and SCHIP has not only been successful in covering newly eligible children but also in triggering major improvements in Medicaid that allowed millions of uninsured children who had been eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled to gain coverage and access to care,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to reauthorize and expand the State Child Health Insurance Program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors commends Congress for seeking an additional $50 billion (for FY 2008 - FY 2012) as part of the FY 2008 Budget Resolution for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This important deficit-neutral funding would cover millions of children without health insurance in this country and we urge that Congress and the Administration approve the $50 billion for this purpose.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors urges the Administration, Congress and the States to ensure that all children and pregnant women have health insurance coverage including: Strengthening the current Medicaid and SCHIP programs to significantly narrow the disparities in income eligibility for children in different states. Children deserve a national health care safety net; A national benefit package that guarantees that children in every state receive all medically necessary health, mental health and dental services; Streamlined mechanisms for enrollment and active outreach to eligible but not enrolled children; Guaranteed coverage and elimination of waiting lists; Assurance that states would incur minimal cost for expanding coverage and enhancing benefits or for increasing provider reimbursement to ensure that eligible children are covered and coverage is maintained; and Assurance that insurance coverage is maintained for all who currently receive insurance including eligible parents and children, and especially pregnant women.

2007 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352