News Releases

Insure Every Child: Murray Joins Kerry to Push New Children's Healthcare Initiative in Seattle

May 02 2005

"Kids First" bill will provide each state with funding to insure every child

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) joined Senator John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire on Monday, May 2, at a town hall meeting in Seattle to celebrate S. 114, the Kids First Act of 2005. Murray, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, is an original cosponsor of the bill, which was authored by Senator Kerry.

There are over 9 million uninsured children in America. That number goes up to 11 million when counting young adults to age 21. One in three children went without health insurance for all or part of 2002 and 2003. Worse yet, sixty-five percent of all uninsured children have at least one parent working full time over the course of the year

"Today, the number of children who do not have health insurance in our state is truly alarming – over 160,000 children," Murray said in her remarks. "This is nothing short of a crisis in our state – and across the nation."

Currently, shortfalls in state funding result in 9 million children being forced to go without health coverage. Another 2 million children between the ages of 18 and 21 are uninsured. The Kids First Act funds coverage not only for children up to age 18, but also raises the age of a child to include young adults under age 21, thereby covering nearly a total of 11 million children who are currently uninsured.