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Healthcare Reform and Child Nutrition in the President's First Budget

03:14 PM Feb 26, 2009

Today, February 26th, President Obama released an outline of his FY2010 Budget Request. To read JCPA's press release on the President's proposal, click here.

This week's Confronting Poverty will focus on what is in the President's Budget for two top JCPA priorities, healthcare reform and the Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Healthcare: The President's Budget provides a reserve fund of over $630 billion over 10 years as a down payment on financing healthcare reform. While this amount will not be enough to pay for a universal plan, President Obama has committed to working with Congress to find the rest of the money necessary to cover every American while lowering healthcare costs. The Budget does not outline the specifics of the healthcare reform plan, as that will be determined in negotiations between Congress and the administration. However, the President has outlined eight principles that will shape the overall initiative:

    • 1. Commitment to protecting the financial health of all Americans;
    • 2. Healthcare coverage should be affordable;
    • 3. Universality should be the goal;
    • 4. Portability of Coverage;
    • 5. Choice of plans and positions;
    • 6. Investing in prevention and wellness;
    • 7. Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care; and
    • 8. Reform should be fiscally sustainable and responsible.

ACTION: We need to build on the momentum provided by the President's Budget to get healthcare reform passed this year! Please sign your organization onto this letter initiated by JCPA's healthcare cluster as part of our national anti-poverty campaign. Contact JCPA Field Organizer Becky Eisen,, to sign on your agency.

Child Nutrition: The President's Budget requests $1 billion/year in increased funding for Child Nutrition Programs such School Breakfast, School Lunch, Summer Feeding and After-School Snack Programs. While this modest investment would allow some improvements in these critical programs, nutrition and anti-hunger experts estimate that it would take at least $4 billion/year in increased funding to make a significant down payment on President Obama's goal to eliminate child hunger by 2015. JCPA will be working with Congress to build upon the President's request and increase the amount of money available for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

ACTION: Join JCPA in signing your agency onto the "Child Nutrition Reauthorization" Statement of Principles by clicking here and inserting your organization's information. Circulate the statement to your grassroots coalition partners and urge them to sign-on as well.

What's Next? Building upon the President's Budget proposal, Congress will finalize its own budget resolution over the next several weeks. The FY2010 Budget will serve as the blueprint for spending and revenue decisions on legislation for the coming year, and so it is critical to contact members of Congress (particularly those on the House and Senate Budget Committees) over the next several days, to relay our support for healthcare reform in the budget and our hopes that the congressional budget resolution will contain additional funding for the Child Nutrition Programs.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact Melissa Boteach at

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