SCHIP- Not Dead Yet
On Thursday, the House voted 265-142 to pass H.R. 3963, a revised version of H.R. 976, the State Children’s Health Insurance Insurance Program [SCHIP] Reauthorization. H. R. 976 had passed by a vote of 265-159, was vetoed, and the veto upheld by a vote of 273-156. Like the original version, vetoed by president Bush on October 3rd, H.R. 3963 continues to provide health care coverage for 10 million American children, but it did not secure a veto-proof majority of votes. The revised bill contains provisions that are designed to ensure that 1] the focus would be on enrolling low-income children in SCHIP first; 2] SCHIP would not cover illegal immigrants; 3] SCHIP coverage of adults would be phased out faster; and 4] children leaving private insurance for SCHIP would be minimized. A Senate vote on the new bill could take place as early as next week. However, the White House has already said that it will veto the new bill as well.
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In the new bill, H.R. 3963, introduced by Representatives John Dingell [D-MI] and Charles Rangel [D-NY], makes revisions to three main policy areas in H. R. 976.
An explicit cap on eligibility for SCHIP is placed at 300 percent of the Federal Policy Level [FPL]. There is an exception for New Jersey, the only state currently covering children from families earning more.
H.R. 3963 would require applicants to show proof of citizenship if the Social Security Administration cannot verify their immigration status using only a Social Security number.
Adults without children would be moved out of SCHIP within one year, instead of two years as under H.R. 976.
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In addition the new SCHIP bill [H.R. 3963] would put a moratorium on new regulations from the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services [CMS] on both Medicaid rehabilitative services, option and school-based services through January 1, 2010. H.R. 976 included a six-month moratorium. The National Council has been advocating for a moratorium on rulemaking related to the rehabilitative service option along with a number of other mental health and disability groups and was one of the groups that worked to have this language included in both the House’s SCHIP bill and the final House-Senate agreement. The National Council continues to advocate for the moratorium.
!.]FRIDAY ALERT, Alliance for Retired Americans, October 26, 2007
2.]PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, October 25,.2007
3.]Summary of Original and Revised CHIP Reauthorization Bills, FamiliesUSA, October 25, 2007 L