The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ed Shelleby (202) 662-3602

Marian Wright Edelman Testimony at House Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing

Children's Defense Fund President Warns House Tri-Committee Some Children May Be Worse Off Under Discussion Draft


Today, Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman
testified at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing about
the House Tri-Committee Comprehensive Health Reform Discussion Draft.
Excerpts from her testimony are included below.

To view the submitted testimony in its entirety visit,

"The Comprehensive Health Reform Discussion Draft takes
strong steps towards quality health reform for millions of
Americans-but I am concerned that under your proposal children don't
get their fair share of needed reform, and rather than being better off
than they are now, some are at risk of being worse off.

"I strongly recommend that you amend your draft bill to
address the three critical areas for improvement that I stated earlier
in my testimony: a national eligibility floor for children at 300
percent of the Federal Poverty Level; comprehensive health and mental
health benefits for all children, building on what children now get in
Medicaid; and a simplified system of enrollment so that all children
who are eligible will be enrolled. These are essential to ensuring that
children truly benefit from health reform."

For more information about the Children's Defense Fund, visit

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for 35 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. We champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.