A Missouri group is joining a national organization urging Congress to keep funding a children’s health insurance program.

The coalition worries that Congress could miss the end of September deadline to renew the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as S-CHIP. S-CHIP provides the federal funding of Missouri’s MC-Plus for Kids which covers 107,000 Missouri children.

Dr. Ted Groshong, chairman of the Department of Child Health at University of Missouri Health Care says health care coverage for children can prevent mild conditions from becoming major problems. He calls the coverage "crucial".

The United States House proposes spending $50 billion over five years on S-CHIP. The Senate has approved a $35 billion. President Bush has threatened to veto the bills over their cost.  Bush has called the plans "Congress’ attempt to federalize medicine."

Beth Griffin, executive director of Citizens for Missouri’s Children, hopes a compromise can attract a veto-proof majority.

The coalition wants Missourians to pressure Congress to keep funding S-CHIP. The coalition in Missouri is part of Cover the Uninsured , a national effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


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