Clinton Aims To Triple Health Insurance For Kids

New bill would offer coverage to practically all uninsured children in America

In what the New York Times has called a 'building block' to her presidential campaign, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, along with Michigan Representative John D. Dingell, proposed a new bill on Tuesday that would see federal spending on the Children's Health Insurance Program increase by $50 billion over the next five years.

Under the bill, nearly every uninsured child in the United States would have at least some access to health insurance. Mrs. Clinton's husband, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, saw his plan for universal coverage thwarted in 1994 by the then Republican-dominated Congress, and Mrs. Clinton says this new bill as a step toward resuscitating that goal.

The bill is a stark contrast to President George Bush's newest budget request, which proposes to cut federal health insurance funding for children.

Currently, the Children's Health Insurance Program provides coverage to six million children in families that earn too much income to meet the criteria for Medicaid but not enough to afford private health insurance. Currently, nine million American children go without any kind of health coverage.

Neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Dingell said how they would pay for the new funding.

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