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First Focus |

Lawmakers Who Oppose Bill Risk Loss of Support Among Republican Voters Contact: Chris Spina at (703) 535-3872 or Adrienne Verrilli at (212) 576-1106

ALEXANDRIA, VA Today, First Focus, a bipartisan advocacy organization committed to making children and families a priority in federal policy decisions, released nationwide polling data confirming strong support for children’s health coverage legislation among Republican voters. The poll, conducted by Republican polling firm Fabrizio McLaughlin & Associates, found that by 62-31% — a 2-to-1 margin of support — Republican voters support Congressional passage of a bill that would extend and strengthen the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). In addition, the poll found that by a 4-to-3 margin Republican voters are less likely to vote to reelect their Members of Congress if they oppose the legislation.

This poll confirms the strong bipartisan support enjoyed by the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and it sends a message that those Members of Congress opposing the SCHIP legislation are ignoring the wishes of the American electorate when it comes to the health and well-being of children. Republican voters want Congress and the President to deliver a strong children’s health bill, and they are saying they will hold accountable politicians who stand in the way, said First Focus President Bruce Lesley. Congress is expected to consider legislation this week that would extend the SCHIP program, which provides coverage to six million American children whose working parents earn too little to afford private health insurance. The current Congressional proposal would strengthen the program, allowing it to cover an additional three million uninsured children. Financing for this legislation comes from an increase in federal tobacco taxes.

Although the President has repeatedly threatened to veto the bill, this poll indicates that a majority of Republican voters disagree with the President and want Republican members of the House and Senate to vote for a strong SCHIP bill. According to Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, by a 2 to 1 margin, a majority of Republicans favor renewing and providing additional resources for the State Children’s Health Program.

The poll, conducted this weekend using a nationwide sample of 1,000 Republican voters, also found that by a 59-31% margin (almost a 2-to-1 margin), Republican voters want their elected representatives to support the bill, even understanding its cost of $35 billion over 5 years with a tobacco tax increase. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is an American issue that concerns us all, said Lesley.

The poll was conducted from September 21st through the 23rd and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. The poll was funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, as part of its work in on behalf of disadvantaged and vulnerable children in the United States. This data validates First Focus polling by GOP pollster Frank Luntz indicating that by a margin of 66- 17%, Americans are less likely to vote for their Senator or Congressman in the next election if they did not support legislation aimed specifically at reducing the number of uninsured children in America. Information on both polls can be found at

About First Focus First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization that is committed to making children and their families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. To learn more visit About Fabrizio and McLaughlin & Associates Founded in 1990, Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates (FMA) has become recognized as one of the leading Republican polling and strategic consulting firms in the country. FMA has worked at every level of electoral politics in America, from CountyCommissioner to Presidential campaigns. Over the years, they have worked for nearly a dozen U.S. Senators, ten Governors and several dozen Members of Congress.

About The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic makes grants through its four programme areas – Ageing, Children & Youth, Population Health, and Reconciliation & Human Rights – and through Founding Chairman grants. Programmes funded by Atlantic operate in Australia, Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam. To learn more, please visit:

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First Focus, health care, SCHIP