At Issue: State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

| September 25, 2007 | Comments (0)

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) began in 1997. Also know as Title XXI, SCHIP was part of the federal Balanced Budget Act of 1997. SCHIP provides a capped amount of funds to states on a matching basis for federal fiscal years (FY) 1008 through 2007 to provide coverage to low-income uninsured children. SCHIP represents the most comprehensive federal effort to ensure health insurance coverage of children since the creation of Medicaid. Since the states have several options as to how they can develop programs to provide coverage to the children in their states, different parts of the country have been more successful than others in reaching out to low-income kids.

SCHIP will expire on September 30, 2007 unless it is reauthorized by Congress. The program enjoys wide bipartisan support but there are differences of opinion regarding the reauthorization. Some members of Congress would like to expand the program. Among the policy changes under consideration include formally allowing adults into the program, changing the program from a block grant to an entitlement and raising the eligibility criteria. 

NAHU’s view: SCHIP should be reauthorized and looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration on the reauthorization process.

Category: Position Statements

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