California Representative Stumps for Kids’ Insurance
On Wednesday, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) restated her support for the State Children's Health Insurance Program and efforts to expand the program, the Ventura County Star reports.
Capps is backing a bill approved by the House that seeks to increase funding for SCHIP by $50 billion over five years, largely by increasing the federal tobacco tax and reducing payments to Medicare Advantage plans, private insurers that participate in Medicare (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 8/9).
President Bush has vowed to veto the legislation; he proposed increasing spending for the program by $5 billion over five years (California Healthline, 7/30).
About six million children nationwide are covered under SCHIP; about 800,000 receive coverage under Healthy Families, California's version of the program.
Emily Kryder, Capps' press secretary, said that the House bill gives states flexibility to determine eligibility for the program, something she said could be particularly helpful for California, New York and other states with high costs of living.
Members of Congress must reconcile different bills approved in the Senate and the House.
The program will expire on Sept. 30 if it is not reauthorized (Ventura County Star, 8/9).
Expanding SCHIP "simply is a step in the right direction," Arthur Garson, executive vice president and provost and former dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, writes in a San Diego Union-Tribune opinion piece.
"We need to get to covering the uninsured now, and so SCHIP should cover as many people as possible," Garson writes. It is important to "at least create as good a safety net as we can," while keeping in mind that the high cost of health insurance leaves "huge holes" in the current safety net, according to Garson (Garson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/9).