Washington, D.C. (January 14, 2009) — The track record of success demonstrated by the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) would be continued – and expanded – by passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, said Billy Tauzin, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, in a letter sent today to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Thanks to SCHIP, “millions of American families have peace of mind that their children have health coverage and can receive regular health exams and preventive care as needed,” Tauzin writes.
SCHIP currently provides comprehensive health care coverage to more than six million low-income children nationwide. Passage of H.R. 2 would continue the important coverage provided to those children, and would also take innovative steps to increase the number of eligible, uninsured children who are enrolled in public programs. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would reduce the number of uninsured children by more than 4 million, including the 1.6 million who are currently eligible for, but not enrolled in, Medicaid or SCHIP.
Importantly, the bill also stipulates the development of pediatric quality-of-care measures in order to improve health outcomes. Because of this, H.R. 2 not only will improve access to health care, it also holds the promise of improving the quality of care for our nation’s children and their families.
Tauzin also lauded the bill’s provision that enhances a state’s option to use SCHIP to help subsidize some employer-sponsored coverage. “This provision maximizes the effectiveness of both public and private sector coverage to promote better access to health care services,” he wrote.
Rep. Pallone’s and House leadership’s tireless dedication to helping improve the health of the millions of uninsured American children and their families represents an important step toward the passage of meaningful health reform in this country. The bipartisan support that SCHIP has seen over the years – as a Republican representative from Louisiana, Tauzin himself worked to support the SCHIP bills in 1997 and 2002 – only emphasizes what an essential program it is for America’s health care system.
In fact, reauthorization of SCHIP is just one of many ways that the health care system in American can work better for all Americans. That’s why PhRMA included improving access to SCHIP coverage as a key component of its Platform for a Healthy America, which aims to assure that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance while also advancing proposals that can help improve affordability, value, and quality of care for American patients.
America’s pharmaceutical research companies recognize that health care reform is multi-faceted. Because of this, PhRMA also supports initiatives such as the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, which helps raise awareness of chronic disease and the policies and practices that save lives and reduce health costs through more effective prevention and management of serious diseases and conditions, which account for seven out of every ten deaths in America.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $45.8 billion in 2009 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.3 billion in 2009.
PhRMA Internet Address: http://www.phrma.org
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org
For more information on public health emergencies, visit http://www.rxresponse.org
For information on the danger of imported drugs, visit: http://www.buysafedrugs.info