Resolution Concerning State Children’s Health Insurance Program
The members of PILMA signed the following resolution in support of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
SCHIP at a glance
- SCHIP currently covers more than 6.6 million children nationwide.
- Since it was enacted in 1997, the number of uninsured children has declined by 24 percent.
- Uninsured kids are three times less likely to visit a doctor over the course of a year, and more than half of all uninsured kids did not have a “well-child” checkup in the past year—more than double the rate of kids with insurance.
Background on SCHIP
SCHIP Extension Signed
On December 29, 2007, President Bush signed legislation that will provide funding for SCHIP through March 2009. The extension is expected to provide enough funds to cover children currently enrolled in the program.
Democrats, who were unable to reach a compromise with Republicans on a long-term reauthorization of the program, have said that they will continue to negotiate with GOP leaders. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that Democrats will not stop “until 10 million children receive the health care coverage they deserve.”
States Unlikely To Expand SCHIP Programs Under Stopgap Funding Measure
Republican and Democratic lawmakers say that they will try to reach a compromise on a long-term reauthorization of SCHIP. Differences over who should get coverage have clearly narrowed over the past months … differences over how to pay for expansion remain considerable,” according to the AP/Herald-Leader.
Congress last month approved a continuing resolution that will maintain coverage for current beneficiaries, after Bush twice vetoed large spending increases proposed by Democrats. The modest spending increase has scuttled plans by several states to expand health coverage.
Democrats also were unable to rescind guidelines issued by the Bush administration in August 2007 that require states to enroll at least 95% of eligible low-income children before expanding eligibility to children in families with higher incomes. The policy directive will impact about half the states. Cindy Mann, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, said that the rule is “definitely a step backward from where we started in 2007,” adding, “We would have seen growth in the program. We’re not going to see that growth, and by August, we’ll start to see a ratcheting down.”