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CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND SUPPORTS GOV. CASEY'S CHILD HEALTH PLAN

CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND SUPPORTS GOV. CASEY'S CHILD HEALTH PLAN
 HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Children's Defense Fund has endorsed Gov. Robert P. Casey's proposal to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income pregnant women and infants.
 "The governor's proposal is an important first step to assuring better health care for Pennsylvania's children," the fund said in a statement issued in Washington Jan. 28.
 The text of the statement issued by the Children's Defense Fund in support of Casey's proposed child health plan follows.
 "The Children's Defense Fund applauds Gov. Casey's proposal to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income pregnant women and infants and to offer health care coverage to uninsured young children. If enacted, the Medicaid expansion will serve thousands more pregnant women and infants and help prevent low birthweight and reduce the need for expensive neonatal intensive care. The governor's proposed child health plan would enable tens of thousands of children younger than 6 to afford basic health care they may not be able to access now.
 "The governor's proposal is an important first step to assuring better health care for Pennsylvania's children. However, the problems of affordability and access to health care require a national solution. Creative measures at the state level can bring relief to many hard-pressed families, but the health care crisis must eventually be addressed by the president and Congress.
 "In Pennsylvania, a baby is born at low birthweight every 46 minutes. Every five hours an infant in Pennsylvania dies. In addition, millions of dollars are spent every day keeping babies born too soon or too small alive in neonatal intensive care when those same babies could have been born healthy with proper prenatal care and adequate nutrition for their mothers. Gov. Casey's proposed Medicaid expansion will afford prenatal care for tens of thousands of expectant mothers to give their babies a healthy start. It is an investment that will both lower hospital costs and improve the health of Pennsylvania newborns.
 "In order for our nation to succeed in the international marketplace, its children must be able to achieve in school, but far too many children are limited by poor health. Too many children have no health insurance and too many live in communities without enough doctors and nurses and clinics to serve them. Gov. Casey's propsal to create a child health plan for low- and moderate-income families will ease the fears of thousands of families who are afraid their children cannot get needed health care. His proposal also includes innovative initiatives to expand the number of health professionals in medically underserved inner cities and rural communities."
 /delval/
 -0- 1/30/92
 /CONTACT: Vincent P. Carocci of Governor's Press Office, 717-783-1116/ CO: Gov. Robert P. Casey; Children's Defense Fund ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:


DM -- PG015 -- 5381 01/30/92 15:34 EST
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Date:Jan 30, 1992
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