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Campaign Advocating on Behalf of Nine Million Children Needing Health Care

8/2/2006:   Seventy percent of likely voters agree that providing affordable, quality health insurance to all children in the United States should be one of the top priorities of Congress and the President, according to a survey commissioned by the Catholic Health Association of the United States.

To help make this happen, a coalition of children's advocacy organizations, educators, parents, and doctors, nurses, and other health care providers have launched the Campaign for Children's Health Care. The goal is to raise public awareness about the 9 million uninsured children in this country--a figure that exceeds the population of children in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming combined.

On the Campaign for Children's Health Care website, users can sign a petition to Congress and the President calling on legislation that will provide affordable health coverage for all children, listen to a podcast on the issue, visit a tools and resources page for more facts about uninsured children, and learn about town hall meetings and other events around the country demonstrating the importance of health insurance for children.

"This issue is particularly relevant for the children served by CWLA's member agencies," says Shay Bilchik, President and CEO of CWLA, a partner in the Campaign for Children's Health Care. "Many children who enter foster care arrive with preexisting physical and mental health conditions that have gone unaddressed due to a variety of reasons, including a lack of access to health care services. Once in the foster care system, access to health and mental health care plays an essential role in facilitating the potential reunification of these children with their families, or successful adoption."

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