California Moving Toward Wait Lists for Kids’ Health Insurance
On Tuesday, administrators of California's version of the State Children's Health Insurance Program said they were considering rules that would let the state create a waiting list for enrollment in the program, the New York Times reports (News low in story).
The rules under consideration also would allow the state to begin removing some of the more than 1.1 million children enrolled in the program, called Healthy Families.
Lesley Cummings -- executive director of the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, which administers Healthy Families -- said that the federal debate over reauthorizing the program "is having a real impact on children here." She added, "Given continued uncertainty, we will have to start dropping children from the program -- 64,000 a month, starting in January -- to save money. This is getting less and less hypothetical" (Pear, New York Times, 10/31).
The board will meet on Nov. 5 to discuss the proposed emergency rules (Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board Web site, accessed 10/31).
The Democratic leadership of Congress "has demonstrated an absolute phobia of working with Republicans ... to solve problems real Americans care about," including the reauthorization of SCHIP, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) writes in a North County Times opinion piece, citing House Democratic leaders' rejection of 13 California Republicans' request to delay a vote on an SCHIP bill last week. The representatives returned to their districts because of the wildfires.
Issa writes, "If the Democratic leadership cares about insuring poor children and rewarding middle-class families who buy health insurance for their children more than they do about expanding government-run health care and using children as a political weapon, they should work with Republicans to pass a truly bipartisan SCHIP renewal" (Issa, North County Times, 10/31).