Senate Approves Bill To Preserve State SCHIP Funds
The Senate late Thursday night approved legislation (HR 2854) that would let states spend unused SCHIP money from previous fiscal years that they otherwise would have to return to the Treasury Department, CQ Today Midday Update reports (Congressional Quarterly, 8/1). The legislation, passed by the House in late July, would extend through FY 2004 $2.7 billion in unspent SCHIP funds that expired last Sept. 30 or are set to expire this Sept. 30. Under the bill, states with unused SCHIP money from FY 2000 and FY 2001 would keep up to 50% of the funds; the other 50% would be allocated to states that have depleted all of their funds. The legislation also would allow states to keep $1.2 billion originally allocated for FY 1998 and FY 1999. In addition, the bill includes provisions that would allow 10 states that were unable to spend their SCHIP funds because of high Medicaid income eligibility requirements to spend 20% of the money to cover eligible children (California Healthline, 7/29). President Bush will now consider the bill (CongressDaily, 8/1).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.