Clinton Pledges To Increase Federal Aid for Kids’ Health Insurance
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) speaking before 2,500 elected officials at the National Association of Counties' annual convention in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday said that if elected, she would shift federal funding from Iraq to domestic needs, including money that would expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program to cover nine million uninsured children, the AP/Newport News Daily Press reports.
Clinton criticized President Bush for repeatedly threatening to veto bills that would expand SCHIP and wasting resources on the war in Iraq. According to Clinton, the 45 million uninsured U.S. residents have been "invisible to the president for the last six-and-a-half years" (Lewis, AP/Newport News Daily Press, 7/18).
She said, "How about reversing our priorities? Let's ... start insuring every single child." Clinton indicated that if elected, she would use SCHIP as a step toward universal health care, the Virginian-Pilot reports. She is expected to unveil additional details of her health plan in the coming weeks.
Clinton on Tuesday also said that she would use money diverted from the Iraq war to increase the safety of imported food (Nuckols, Virginian-Pilot, 7/18).
In another campaign appearance, Clinton on Monday addressed health care providers, nursing students and educators at the Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing in New York, where she said the growing nationwide shortage of nurses must be remedied in order for improvements to be made to the U.S. health care system, the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin reports.
Clinton noted that a shortage of nursing school faculty has lead to dangerously low annual numbers of nursing school graduates.
She said, "If you think you have a problem (related to health care) now, it will only get much more difficult" if the problem is not fixed.
Along with Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Clinton has re-introduced legislation (S 1604) intended to boost the number of nurses in rural areas and nursing school faculty nationwide, as well as create patient safety practices for nursing schools.
Clinton on Monday also explained that the nation is now ready for a national health care system, although not like the one she unsuccessfully promoted as first lady in the 1990s.
"The difference between now and then is people have firsthand experience of why it needs to change," Clinton said, adding, "It's more and more likely I will have a CEO come up and see me and say, 'Do something about health care.' I think the political atmosphere has changed. The solution is really open for debate" (Wilber, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, 7/18).
In related news, the campaigns of the three leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund forum spoke about women's health issues and plans to expand health insurance coverage, the New York Times reports.
Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) spoke at the forum, along with Elizabeth Edwards -- who spoke on behalf of her husband, former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) (New York Times, 7/18).