SCHIP: Public Groups Urge Minority Data Reporting
Various health, civil rights, disability, immigration and labor organizations want HHS Secretary Donna Shalala to change the proposed State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) rules to require states to report enrollment data on race, ethnicity and primary language spoken. In a letter to Shalala, the National Health Law Program and more than 130 other groups said that the regulations are necessary to "understand how and if SCHIP is meeting the needs of uninsured minority children," including Hispanics, blacks, Asians and Pacific Islanders, who all are more likely to be uninsured than white children. The new rules would ensure compliance with federal civil rights laws and would help HHS "meet its goal of eradicating racial and ethnic disparities in health care by the year 2010." The groups also pointed out that the collection of data on race, ethnicity and primary language spoken will provide additional information to build the comprehensive minority health database recommended by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (National Health Law Program release, 12/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.