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Gov. Gregoire’s statement on SCHIP reauthorization

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2009

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire issued the following statement today following a press conference with Sen. Maria Cantwell on the passage of the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) program:

“Since the inception of SCHIP in 1997, Washington was penalized for doing the right thing by getting fewer federal dollars than other states even while we were covering more children. With this reauthorization bill, Senators Cantwell and Murray – together with several members of our House delegation – have righted that wrong and are strengthening our partnership with the federal government in providing health care to children in Washington state.

“I also commend Speaker Chopp and Majority Leader Brown who were key leaders in passing Washington’s Apple Health for Kids program and who remain committed to covering all kids in our state.

“Given that the federal government, through its reauthorization of SCHIP, will provide an enhanced match for children in families up to 300 percent Federal Poverty Level, we can now work toward covering children in Washington state up to that level.

“I urge the U.S. House of Representative and the U.S. Senate to move quickly in conferencing the two bills in order to move a final bill to President Obama.”