Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Some important facts on SCHIP

Recently, Congress passed and the President vetoed a new version of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

As Congress prepares for another vote in an attempt to override Mr. Bush's veto, several important facts should be kept in mind.

1) The bill under discussion will provide health insurance coverage for almost 4 million more children.

2) The bill targets only low-income children. The bill’s new cap is set at a maximum of 300% of the Federal Poverty Level or just under $62,000 gross pre-tax income (not net income) for a family of 4. The states have the option of setting their own cap levels. Only 600,000 of the 3.8 million new children gaining coverage under the bill are not currently eligible and would become eligible due to the proposed funding expansions if states so chose. Anyone who tries to pay for private or employer sponsored health plans understands that income at 300% of poverty does not guarantee a family will be able to afford coverage.

If you believe the Congressional Budget Office, 84% of the children gaining coverage under the bill are either on the program now (but without the new money would have to be cut from the program for lack of funding) or are eligible now but not enrolled.

3) Contrary to some opposition propaganda, the bill reforms previous versions of SCHIP and cuts out adults. There will be no waivers under the new SCHIP legislation allowing for the provision of coverage for parents. Those states that have received such waivers in the past will have to transition parents to a separate program with a lower federal match. Further, the bill prohibits coverage for childless adults. States providing coverage in the past for childless adults under SCHIP will no longer be able to do so.

According to our friends at the Center for Public Policy Priorities (http://www.cppp.org/) "if the number of uninsured children grows this year at the same rate as last year, nearly 2,000 additional children will become uninsured every day."

Contact your U. S. Representative and each of your U. S. Senators to urge a vote for SCHIP when it comes up for a vote in the near future.

A vote for SCHIP is a vote for the health of America's children.

[Material for this post drawn largely from information provided by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, Austin, Texas]

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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another important fact on the SCHIP bill is that it does not require fool-proof evidence of citizenship. They only require Social Security numbers which do not denote citizenship. The opportunity for fraud is hugh.

belinda said...

They've placed a lot of restrictions on social security numbers. That's why so many have been unable to get a valid driver's licenses. We have a large Hispanic population where I live. Many of them have been unable to get state driver's licenses because they have no social security number. I'm not sure the SSN = citizenship is a legitimate concern.

Anonymous said...

to anony 12:34 pm: who is hugh?

Anonymous said...

12:34 PM, Anonymous said...

chris?

Anonymous said...

Social security numbers are not hard to get for most citizens and in those difficult situations like birth certificates being lost (record fires for example) advocacy groups can help. Many of the Hispanics that I come into contact with at a volunteer agency have none or false numbers (Michael Douglas's number is popular). If the children are born in the US they have SSNs. There needs to be adequate safeguards on how this plan gets implemented so that the working poor are helped and catastrophic illnesses get treated. "Normal care and catastrophic
care should not have the same financial limits. Lumping citizens and non-citizens in one plan is not a responsible solution for health care.

Anonymous said...

Make that huge!

o, henry said...

"Lumping citizens and non-citizens in one plan is not a responsible solution for health care."

That is actually what we do right now through the emergency departments. They see anyone who walks in.

The proposed SCHIP legislation would enhance the capacity to deliver preventative healthcare to people who otherwise depend on the emergency department. This could actually save us significant amounts of money while improving the quality of life for all people, if we would not let our racism or zenophobia prevent us from making the right decision.

Politics & Culture said...

A family of four making $62,000 per year should NOT be getting government assistance. Our family of four makes less than that, and we have no problem paying for our own private health insurance.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Politics & Culture on this one. The median income in Dallas is about $50,000. Why would anyone in the top half of income earners even potentially get govt assistance.