Expansion of SCHIP is Approved by the House
Today’s House vote to expand SCHIP brings Americans one step closer to universal access to health insurance. With a vote of 289 to 139, the House passed a bill to expand the capacity of State Children’s Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP) from 6 to nearly 11 million enrollees. Earlier versions of this legislation were vetoed twice by President Bush but President-Elect Obama stated, “In this moment of crisis, ensuring that every child in America has access to affordable health care is not just good economic policy, but a moral obligation we hold as parents and citizens.”
Specifically, the current crisis in unemployment has left an increasing number of families in the difficult position of making too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to pay the extremely expensive premiums for health insurance offered through COBRA once an employee has lost his or her job. Combine this fact with the trend for health insurance policies toward providing less comprehensive coverage for greater and greater premiums. The result is millions of children who have fallen through the cracks in a fragmented system. This program, originally created with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 has sought to remedy the problem of uninsured children since it’s inception. Passage of this new legislation will go further towards accomplishing that goal, as well as accomplishing one of the three key pillars of the proposed Obama-Biden administration’s health care plan—universal access to care.
Department of Labor http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm
Kaiser Family Foundation http://www.kaiseredu.org/topics_im.asp?id=704&imID=1&parentID=65