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Week of 11.9.07

Children's Health Care Showdown

NOW reports on the latest congressional maneuvers to determine the fate of a children's health care program. The State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, is a block grant from the federal government to cover children whose family incomes exceed the level that would make them eligible for Medicaid, but are too low to afford private insurance. But the fund is quickly running out of money. President Bush vetoed a bipartisan bill reauthorizing SCHIP on October 3, 2007, claiming it would attract recipients who could otherwise afford private insurance. Now, the issue has become a political free-for-all, with family lives hanging in the balance.

As part of its investigation, NOW interviewed Graeme Frost and his parents. Graeme is a 12-year-old boy whose family has been using SCHIP to pay for his medical expenses following a car accident. After Frost told his story as part of the Democratic weekly radio address at the end of September, he and his family became the targets of right-wing attacks. Many are now asking: Did congressional Republicans assist in a smear campaign?

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» Watch "Insuring the Children", NOW's July 2007 investigation of SCHIP.

» Children's Health Care in America: Find out about free and low-cost health insurance for children in your state.

» Understanding SCHIP: A snapshot of the government health insurance program.

Related Links

Graeme Frost's Radio Address: Hear the Democratic weekly radio announcement featuring Frost.

Every Child Matters: Learn about nonpartisan efforts to advocate for children's issues.

White House: Policy Statements on SCHIP

Also This Week: Corporations and Human Rights

Gas flares When NOW first met up with human rights attorney Katie Redford and her nonprofit Earth Rights International in 2004, the organization was making a name for itself by reviving an arcane law passed in 1789. The Alien Tort Claims Act was originally intended to prosecute piracy that occurred outside the jurisdiction of the United States. But in a groundbreaking case (Doe v. Unocal), EarthRights succeeded in using the law to hold the American oil giant Unocal accountable for its involvement in atrocities committed against villagers near its pipeline in Burma(Myanmar).

Today, Redford is taking on another oil giant—Chevron—for its alleged involvement in human rights abuses in Nigeria. In another victory, a judge has agreed to allow the case to go to a jury trial sometime next year. NOW talks to Redford about this latest landmark lawsuit and the role that the Alien Torts Claims Act can play in helping to regulate the actions of international corporations across the globe.

Related Links

Suing ChevronTexaco: Learn more about the EarthRights International landmark lawsuit, Bowoto v. ChevronTexaco.

Debating Global Business and Global Jusice

The Alien Tort Claims Act Overview

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