A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Who Remembers SCHIP?

Who Remembers SCHIP?

January 12, 2009

A little over a year ago, children’s health insurance made a splash in the national media. President Bush’s decision to veto legislation reauthorizing the wildly successful State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) caused an uproar in the health care community and was puzzling to much of the general public.

Explaining the veto, Stephen Colbert featured SCHIP in his “The Word” segment a while back.
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Well, SCHIP is back. With a new occupant of the White House about to be sworn in, both the House and Senate are working quickly on legislation that will reauthorize this program. There has even been talk that the bill might be ready to be signed by President Obama on his first day in office.

Details of what SCHIP reauthorization will look like are still being worked out, but among the provisions being considered include eliminating the 5 year restriction that prevents states from covering legal immigrant kids and overturning the Bush administration’s policy limiting coverage to families below 250% for the federal poverty level.

The Obama administration has a chance to start off on the right foot – not only in terms of moving away from the Bush administration’s policies, but in taking a measurable step to provide more children with access to high quality health care.
Matt Noyes