In his latest effort to reduce the number of Americans lacking health insurance, President Clinton called on public schools Oct. 12 to play a bigger part in identifying and enrolling millions of children who are eligible for, but not participating in, federal health insurance programs.
“There are over 10 million uninsured children nationwide,” Clinton said in an address to 8,000 pediatricians meeting in Washington. “Although aggressive implementation of CHIP [Children’s Health Insurance Program] has enrolled over one million childrenwith states expecting enrollment to more than double over the next yearmore must be done to ensure the success of this program.”
The president plans to dedicate $9.5 million in research funds “to identify effective children’s health insurance strategies.” He said some states, notably New Jersey and Indiana, already use public schools as sites to enroll children in CHIP and Medicaid, the federal health program for the poor and disabled.
Clinton specified that some of CHIP’s $24 billion in funding can be used for administrative purposes, such as enrollment. The president also encouraged the Republican-led Congress to appropriate more funds to discourage youth smoking, promote childhood immunizations, and finance graduate medical education at children’s hospitals.