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(202) 638-1100 Phone

Monday, January 27th 2003

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health care systems and networks of care, I am writing to express our strong support for the protection of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds. We believe that Congress must act to maintain this important program.

As you know, $1.2 billion in SCHIP funds reverted to the federal treasury at the end of fiscal year 2002 and another $1.5 billion in SCHIP funds will revert at the end of fiscal year 2003. Last year Congress failed to pass a bipartisan consensus proposal to keep the funds from expiring. It is time to try again, and to succeed.

AHA urges passage of legislation similar to last year’s bipartisan proposal, sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Tauzin and Ranking Member Dingell and Senate Finance Committee leaders Baucus and Grassley. Such legislation should restore fiscal year 2002 SCHIP funds and protect SCHIP funds for fiscal year 2003. The fiscal crises plaguing a majority of state governments leave little or no room for states to make up for shortfalls in SCHIP funding and could lead to cutbacks in coverage. Enrollment cuts would be a huge step backward from the solid progress that SCHIP has made in getting health care coverage to more of America’s children.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.


Rick Pollack
Executive Vice President


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