States Plan To Limit SCHIP Enrollment Without Permanent Funding
StateChildren's Health Insurance Program
Some states say thatwithout "a stable source" of funding for SCHIP this year, they muststart planning to freeze enrollment and possibly drop coverage for thousands ofchildren, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.According to the Congressional Research Service, 21 states will run out offederal SCHIP funds in 2008, with nine states facing budget shortfalls in March2008, if Congress continues to fund the program at current levels.
Efforts to reauthorize andexpand SCHIP are a "good example of one possible path to lawdom or, inthis case, vetodom" because the bill "tacked so wildly through choppywaters that when it finally emerged from the fog, its hull had a completelydifferent number," Don Wolfensberger, director of the Congress Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center forScholars, writes in a Roll Call opinion piece.
Wolfensberger continues, "If the issue had been a straight renewal ofSCHIP, it would have easily sailed to enactment," but because Democraticleaders "had in mind an ambitious expansion that would cover millions ofadditional children at billions more in cost than the Bush administrationrequested," they needed to use "a variety of procedural devices toadvance their cause." Democrats are "no closer today to a veto-proofmajority but seem content sitting motionless atop an issue they hope to rideinto the 2008 elections (while keeping SCHIPafloat on a continuing appropriations barge)," according to Wolfensberger(Wolfensberger, Roll Call, 11/26).
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