Boost for Kids’ Insurance Program Should Be Goal
Congress this year should reauthorize and expand SCHIP, which will expire on Sept. 30 without congressional action, because, when a "child gets sick, the main focus needs to be on getting them healthy, not on how to pay for it," Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) writes in a Billings Gazette opinion piece.
Baucus writes that, as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, he plans to make reauthorization of SCHIP his "top health care priority this year" and is "committed to expanding" the program to cover additional children because "every child ... deserves quality, affordable health care." According to Baucus, "We have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to help expand this vital program, and I will do everything I can to make sure this happens."
He writes, "We've already had a big victory" this year with the approval of a Senate budget resolution that includes $50 billion in additional funds for SCHIP over five years, adding, "That will more than double our investment into the program" and allow the program to cover an additional six million children.
"Now that we've carved out space in the budget, it's time to get down to brass tacks and craft the specific policies we want to see in the new program," Baucus writes (Baucus, Billings Gazette, 4/2).