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11 Million Children To Be Enrolled in SCHIP After Senate Gives Okay

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, January 30, 2009 10:14 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: SCHIP, Children's Health, FDA and Prescription Drugs

SCHIP passes to include 11 million low-income children.

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IMAGE SOURCE:  Wikimedia Commons/ girls with painted faces/ author: InPhonic customer service 

 

It was the last hurdle for children of many low-income families to accessing health care.

The Senate gave its approval Thursday to legislation that will provide health insurance to 11 million youngsters.

Included in the bill was funding to cover legal immigrants, children and pregnant women, to this country- a provision that had been a point of argument between the parties.  

The program is known as SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and it’s designed to offer coverage to families who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.  The money to fund the plan will come from an additional tax on cigarettes, increasing from 39 cents a pack to one dollar.

Lawmakers voted largely along party lines 66-to-32 to spend an additional $32.8 billion to include another four million children.

President Obama is expected to sign the legislation which was already approved by the House.  

President Bush had twice vetoed a similar expansion and agreed to extend the program until March, 2008. 

But Barack Obama during his campaign pledged to provide health insurance coverage to every American child.  It is estimated that about five million children will still remain uninsured. 

Nine GOP senators backed the bill, while in 2007, 18 backed a similar bill, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

Republicans largely objected to an expanded role the federal government will play in providing health insurance, especially at a time when more Americans may be moving into the low-income category.

The qualification will vary from state to state, but some will cover children who come from homes with twice the income of the federal poverty level which is $21,200 for a family of four. 

Despite President Obama’s pledge to forge bipartisan cooperation out of Washington, some Republican lawmakers objected to the provision that allows some legal immigrants to enroll in the program.

Previously they had to wait five years for coverage, reports the Washington Post.

Republican Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee who had helped craft SCHIP legislation two years ago voice his anger.

"For a guy like me that shed so much blood and took such a hammering from my own party, it's a real disappointment . . . that my side of the aisle is being so ignored," the lawmaker told the Los Angeles Times. 

Many predict that the lack of compromise on both sides does not forecast well for bipartisan agreement over revamping the nations’ health care system.  #


4 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by perspectoff
Friday, January 30, 2009 11:50 AM EST

Adding more children to the government dole is not going to help the health care system.

Physicians, hospitals, and clinics get reimbursed at rates lower than their expenses for Medicaid (30% below costs), Medicare (10% below costs), and other programs (like SCHIP). (These costs don't include malpractice and legal overhead from lack of tort reform, especially in Florida).

Several states don't pay Medicaid for several months at a time, if at all.

Because of this, there are many areas where it is impossible to find a physician that will accept Medicaid, and the number of physicians that accept Medicare and other government programs is dwindling, as costs rise and reimbursements fall.

We need a two-tier health care system, as is the norm in most of the rest of the world:

1) a national network of state, county, and rural hospitals, clinics, and physicians subsidized by the government (financially and with free electronic medical records and bulk purchasing discounts, and malpractice plans) in exchange for accepting Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs (such as SCHIP)

2) a private network of hospitals, clinics, and physicians free to set their own rates in order to recoup their costs, and free to negotiate with insurance companies for fair reimbursements for services, instead of the current system (as in California) where insurance companies can set their own arbitrary low rates and are protected by law in doing so.

If we don't institute such a two-tiered system now, health care will continue to crumble.

This year.

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, January 30, 2009 12:12 PM EST

What you are suggesting further erodes a healthy thriving middle-class of Americans and takes us into a feudal, have and have-not system, which will leave the weakest of us behind.

No easy solutions for sure....but a trickle down healthcare system leaves too many with substandard options.

It wasn't too long ago that we found the trickle down theory doesn't work- remember?

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, January 30, 2009 12:13 PM EST

Is it time to rein in insurance companies and have them work for us rather than the other way around?

Anonymous User
Posted by FrredomPundit
Saturday, January 31, 2009 10:12 PM EST

Look, we gotta get all the kids insured so they can all get pyscho meds and stimulants, ( no child left undrugged) and make is easier to brainwash them into good little socialists.

It was so much better when a firm hand from a parent on the rear reflexology point made much of the above totally unnecessary. Imagine kids behaving for fear of discipline. Those were the days.

Comments for this article are closed.

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