CQ On Senate Action On Revised SCHIP Bill
State Children's Health Insurance Program
Mary Agnes Carey, associate editor of CQ HealthBeat, examines pending Senate action on a revised SCHIP bill recently approved in the House, the fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS-Educations spending bill, as well as health information technology legislation approved by a House committee in this week's "Health on the Hill from kaisernetwork.org and CQ."
According to Carey, the Senate could take action on a revised SCHIP billthis week. The House last week voted 265-142 to approve the revisedmeasure but again failed to garner enough votes to override a promisedpresidential veto. House Democrats said the new legislation addressesall major Republican complaints about the first SCHIP bill, namely thatit would allow wealthy families, undocumented immigrants and adults toenroll in the program. The new bill would limit SCHIP eligibility tofamilies with incomes up to 300% of the federal poverty level, but itstill would fund a $35 billion expansion of the program by increasingthe tobacco tax, which Republicans and President Bush oppose.Republicans and Bush also said that the revisions did not address theirconcerns in a meaningful way.
Carey also discusses Senate approval of a $606 billion FY 2008 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill.The measure now goes to a House-Senate conference, but Bush has saidthat he will veto the bill because its total funding is more than herequested, according to Carey.
Finally, Carey says a House panel approved legislation that would give the National Institute of Standards and Technologyone year to develop or adopt health IT standards for use by federalhealth agencies. Proponents say the standards will streamlineadministrative tasks, eliminate waste and reduce medical errors. Careyadds that the committee adopted a manager's amendment by voice votethat would authorize $8 million in FY 2008 and FY 2009 to fund healthIT research grants (Carey, "Health on the Hill from kaisernetwork.organd CQ," 10/29).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.