Washington, D.C. – More than 2,000 events will be held across the county as part of Cover the Uninsured Week (April 23-29), the largest, nonpartisan mobilization in history seeking solutions for the millions of African Americans who are uninsured.
This year, Cover the Uninsured Week comes at a critical time, with Congress working to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Enacted in 1997, SCHIP provides each state with federal funds for a health insurance program for vulnerable children. Organizers say that if America's leaders fail to renew and sufficiently fund SCHIP, millions of children who desperately need health insurance will remain uninsured and without adequate health care.
According to the latest government statistics, more than 1.5 million African-American children are uninsured. That means one in eight African American children are uninsured, and experts say most of these children are likely eligible for low-cost or free health care coverage through SCHIP, but have not yet enrolled.
"Far too many African-American children are uninsured, but thanks to programs like SCHIP, many of these kids are eligible for health coverage programs," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
"For five years, volunteers have responded to Cover the Uninsured Week by helping to enroll eligible kids in SCHIP, administering a great deal of needed and preventive care and raising awareness about children's health coverage and the overall issue of the uninsured. Thanks to their hard work, solving America's health coverage crisis is now near the top of the political agenda for our elected leaders and presidential candidates, and that's right where it belongs."
Thousands of people will participate in Cover the Uninsured Week, April 23-29, in thousands of community service and education events held in every state. Planned activities include SCHIP enrollment events, seminars for business owners, town hall discussions, campus activities and faith-based events.
To locate enrollment events being held in your area, discover ways to get involved, learn more about SCHIP or read about the issue, visit www.CoverTheUninsured.org.