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Schools must be able to care for all kids.

Adequate access to care is essential for children with serious and chronic health conditions, even when they are at school, according to APHA. The Association gave its support recently to a new bill that would ensure that schools have enough funding to meet the health requirements of special needs children.

The Protecting Children's Health in Schools Act, introduced in July, would direct the federal government to develop requirements for reimbursement of school-based health care for children, including those with developmental, physical or mental health needs. Under President Bush's fiscal year 2007 budget proposal, payments provided to schools under Medicaid would be cut, "placing children's health and education in jeopardy," according to Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the bill's sponsor in the House of Representatives.

"Close to 7 million children currently receive education and related services through school districts, ranging from assistive technology for students with hearing disabilities to personal aides for students with several developmental or physical disabilities," Dingell said in comments on the House floor in July. "This would enable them to learn in community educational settings instead of being forced to remain at home, which is fully permitted under the current law."

The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., as S. 3705 and by Dingell in the House as H.R. 5834. APHA sent a letter lauding the bill in August to both Dingell and Kennedy.
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Title Annotation:APHA ADVOCATES: Recent actions on public health by APHA; American Public Health Association
Author:Late, Michele
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2006
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