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Brief: Christensen Speaks to National Forum on Health Care

Feb. 20, 2007 — Eliminating disparities in health care remains the main focus of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Health Braintrust, according to Delegate Donna M. Christensen, who spoke Tuesday at the second annual African-American National Health Forum in Atlanta, Ga.
Christensen, who chairs the Braintrust, pointed to the persistent disparities in the health care of people of color as she outlined proposed administration budget cuts that, she said, can only worsen the state of minority health care in this country.
She pointed to $252 billion in proposed cuts in Medicare over 10 years and $28 billion in Medicaid over the next five years. She particularly focused on the underfunding of SCHIP, the program that provides health insurance for children.
"SCHIP is drastically underfunded so that it will not meet the health and health care needs of current enrollees and will not be able to enroll any of the 9 million uninsured children, many of whom are eligible for SCHIP," she said.
Christensen said the Braintrust's priorities include stopping these cuts and fully funding health insurance for children.
It also includes reintroducing a comprehensive health disparity elimination bill, rebuilding the health care infrastructure of the Gulf Coast, and reauthorizing and fully funding the Healthy Start program.
She also spoke of improving the health of the incarcerated and ex-offender population, fully funding Ryan White, strengthening public hospitals and public health centers and much more.
Christensen returned to the territory Tuesday evening. She will conduct listening sessions on all three islands this week to hear from constituents and their needs.
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