Kerry Promotes Universal Children’s Health Insurance Plan in Atlanta
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) on Monday in Atlanta began a series of forums to promote his legislation (S 114) that would establish universal health coverage for children, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Baxter, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/15). Under Kerry's bill, all U.S. residents younger than age 21 who have family incomes below the federal poverty level would receive federally funded health insurance through Medicaid. Children in families with annual incomes between 100% and 300% of the federal poverty level would receive benefits funded jointly by the states and the federal government (California Healthline, 3/10).
Speaking to an audience of more than 100 medical professionals, lawmakers, activists and others, Kerry said the plan could result in savings of $10 billion annually. The plan would be funded by ending President Bush's planned tax cuts for people with annual incomes above $300,000. The March of Dimes, the National Association of Children's Hospitals and other public health groups and labor organizations have endorsed the plan. Kerry is expected to promote the program in speeches in other states during the next several months, and he said that he plans to write a book about health care and the environment (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/15).