PS 444 Paper - SCHIP-ing Health Insurance to America`s...

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“SCHIP”-ing Health Insurance to America’s Low-Income, Uninsured Children By Anne Flinchum [email protected] Executive Summary Health insurance in the U.S. is a heated debate with the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) this year. While it is necessary to provide for low-income, uninsured children, many see flaws in the current implementation of the policy and even bigger flaws in plans to expand it. This paper analyzes the current policy as well as a few proposed plans in Congress and concludes with recommendations based on extensive research on the health insurance industry and the policies that dictate it. It does not provide the answer, but it takes steps in the right direction. Chosen Policy Brief Information: Marshner, Connie & Nina Owcharenko. “The State Children’s Health Insurance Program: High Stakes for American Families.” 27 June 2007. The Heritage Foundation . 25 November 2007 <http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm1528.cfm>. 1
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“SCHIP”-ing Health Insurance to America’s Low-Income, Uninsured Children Review When someone walks into a hospital, the first thing they are asked for at check in is their insurance card. Health insurance is a major policy issue in the United States. Medical bills are expensive and many families depend on their health insurance to cover most, if not all of the costs. However, the health insurance system in America is somewhat complicated. There are government programs, like Medicaid, for low-income families, but there are also private insurance companies with programs for all levels of income for individuals or families. Some times families can receive private health insurance as a benefit from their job, but other families must pay a monthly fee in order to receive their coverage. These different levels of insurance and the high costs of healthcare make it difficult to offer healthcare to the entire population and in 2006, estimates were around 46.5 million “non-elderly” Americans who were uninsured (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007). The number of the uninsured continues to grow steadily with an increase of 2.1 million more uninsured from the years 2005 to 2006 with more than 700,000 of this number being children (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007). The reasons for the uninsured include both limits to the government programs and gaps in employment coverage that leaves many low-income families with little or no healthcare coverage (CovertheUninsured.org, 2007). In fact, over a third of the poor and 30% of the “near- poor” (100%-199% of the poverty level) lack health insurance when they may need it the most (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007). The lack of insurance sometimes causes people to forgo or delay medical attention so it is actually harmful to the health of 2
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people who are uninsured. On top of this, it has been reported that those who are uninsured receive less care and recover more poorly than those who are insured showing
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course POLI SCI 444 taught by Professor Yackee during the Fall '07 term at University of Wisconsin.

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PS 444 Paper - SCHIP-ing Health Insurance to America`s...

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