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US debates health insurance for millions of children

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 12 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:62
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    A successful US programme to insure children in poor families is coming up for its five year renewal in Congress at the end of September, amid controversy between Democrats and Republicans.

    The situation is examined in a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine by John Iglehart, the journal's national correspondent (2007;357:70-6 doi: 10.1056/NEJMhpr071840), and in a review by the not for profit Commonwealth Fund.

    The Democrats want to expand the programme to cover more families, but the Republican president, George Bush, wants to reduce it, giving families tax incentives to buy private insurance. The programme may, therefore, be renewed for only a year or two.

    An estimated seven or …

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