Brief for Final Paper

Brief for Final Paper - June 27, 2007 The State Children's...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
June 27, 2007 The State Children's Health Insurance Program: High Stakes for American Families by Connie Marshner and Nina Owcharenko WebMemo #1528 Congress is at a crossroads in the debate over the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). One road gives government more control over the health care of American families. The other strengthens private sector options and increases parental choice and responsibility. Congress is now reviewing and debating changes to the program. Over the past 10 years, the program has increased dependence on government, undermined parental responsibility, and increased the burden on taxpayers. With SCHIP requiring reauthorization in 2007, some Members of Congress are seeking to accelerate these trends. Members must recognize that SCHIP, as it is structured today, is not serving the bests interests of children, their families, or taxpayers. The Beginning of SCHIP In the early 1990s, when President and First Lady (now Senator) Clinton proposed a form of national health insurance, Americans wisely rejected the idea that the government should control the financing and delivery of medical care. Recovering from this temporary setback, many advocates of government-controlled health insurance thought it best to pursue an incremental strategy of progressively expanding the government's share of health insurance coverage. They enthusiastically supported the enactment of SCHIP as a key component of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. SCHIP was originally designed to offer coverage for uninsured children in low-income families that earn no more than twice the federal poverty level (FPL). The program provided federal matching funds as block grants to states, with total federal expenditures capped at $40 billion over 10 years. Increasing Dependency on Government The dynamics of the program set in motion an expansion that has continued for the past 10 years. In 1998, 28 percent of American children were enrolled in either Medicaid or SCHIP. [1] The percentage of all children in SCHIP jumped to 45 percent (or 6.2 million children) by 2005. [2] The program is encompassing persons who are not poor, and in certain cases, are grown adults. State policies have encouraged the trend of adult enrollees. Almost 10 percent of SCHIP enrollees are adults, according to the Government Accounting Office. [3] In Minnesota, for example, 87 percent of those enrolled in 2005 were adults, as were 66 percent of those enrolled in Wisconsin. [4] Nor are the state officials sticking to the original eligibility ceiling of 200 percent of the FPL. New Jersey's SCHIP program covers children whose parents earn up to 350 percent of the FPL-- an amount more than $72,000 per year. [5] The original framers did not intend the legislation to cover middle-class families. It is increasingly clear that many Members of Congress want expansion into higher income families largely because they favor government health insurance over private health insurance as a matter of policy.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course POLI SCI 444 taught by Professor Yackee during the Fall '07 term at Wisconsin.

Page1 / 4

Brief for Final Paper - June 27, 2007 The State Children's...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online