February 4, 2009
Statement by Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers,
On the President's Signing of the State Children's Health Insurance Program Act
Today, President Barack Obama signed into law the State Children's Health Insurance Program Act. The law reauthorizes and expands the SCHIP program, which provides healthcare coverage for millions of low-income children.
WASHINGTON—We thank the Congress and President Obama for reauthorizing the law, expanding the SCHIP program, and allowing states to extend coverage to pregnant women and to children of legal immigrants. Helping children gain access to healthcare is good policy, especially now, when so many families have been hit hard by the economic downturn. The AFT has been a strong supporter of SCHIP—and a leading advocate for community schools that provide health services—because our members observe every day the simple truth that healthy children learn better.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.