Monday, February 4, 2008

Response from Senator Mikulski

"Thanks for contacting me about our health care system. It's nice to hear from you. I absolutely agree with you that our health care system is not meeting the needs of all Americans. Over 46 million Americans are uninsured. Even Americans with health insurance, whether they are current employees or retirees, are seeing their premiums and co-pays rise at a time when they may get fewer benefits. As I travel throughout Maryland , I hear about the tremendous burden health care costs place on families. I believe that all Americans should have access to high quality, affordable health care and health insurance coverage. I'm disappointed that efforts to provide health care reform have failed. Yet, we can't just wait for comprehensive reform. That's why I'm fighting to reduce the number of uninsured Americans and provide coverage to those who need it. I want you to know that I am working hard to make sure that the health care safety net is strong. I am fighting to prevent cuts in funding to hospitals that care for the uninsured, and I will oppose any proposal to block grant or cap federal funding of Medicaid. Block grants, cuts, or caps in Medicaid would mean that some people, who need health care the most, would lose it. I am also concerned that there are over 12 million children without health insurance. I firmly believe that all children should have access to high quality, affordable health care and health insurance coverage. Medicaid plays a vital role as a health care safety net by providing health care coverage to uninsured children. The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which I fought to create in 1997, expanded on the Medicaid program to cover children in families with incomes above traditional Medicaid eligibility levels. Together, these essential programs provide health care to more than 20 million children. But there is more that must be done to ensure every child has access to care - regardless of their family's wealth. That's why I am fighting so that states have the resources they need to continue covering these children. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Keep Children Covered Act of 2007 (S. 401). This important legislation would eliminate the funding shortfall from the SCHIP program that many states, including Maryland , are facing this year. Without these funds, states may be forced to cut enrollment, and many of the children now participating in the Maryland SCHIP program could lose their health coverage and become uninsured. S. 401 is currently pending before the Senate Committee on Finance. We must make it easier for all Americans to have affordable healthcare at any age. You can be sure that I will continue to fight for a stronger American healthcare system and for affordable healthcare for all. Again, thanks for contacting me. Please let me know if I can be of any help to you in the future."

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Chronicling my adventures in proving that less is more. I'll learn to refashion/recycle clothes, prepare gourmet meals using as many natural/basic/raw ingredients as possible. I'll learn to spend less, live more, and reclaim those things that are truly valuable in my life.


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