Debate on Kids’ Insurance Centers on Federal Contribution
State officials "have made it clear that they have a much different vision" for the State Children's Health Insurance Program than the Bush administration, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports. SCHIP is due to expire on Sept. 30.
According to the AP/Chronicle, state officials and the administration differ about "whether the program should cover those above 200% of the [federal] poverty level and some adults." More than 12 states allow children in families with annual incomes of more than 200% of the poverty level to enroll in SCHIP, but the administration opposes the practice.
However, the "biggest sticking point" between state officials and the administration likely will involve the amount of federal funds allocated for SCHIP as lawmakers consider legislation to reauthorize the program, according to the AP/Chronicle. Governors and state Medicaid directors support legislation that would more than triple federal funds for SCHIP to more than $15 million annually, but the administration supports a smaller allocation.
Meanwhile, governors and state lawmakers have recommended several other revisions to SCHIP, such as reversal of a policy that prevents the enrollment of children of state employees and a proposal to allow children of documented immigrants to enroll in the program immediately, rather than wait five years. State lawmakers also seek to increase efforts to enroll eligible children in SCHIP (Freking, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 6/18).