Health Insurance on Capitol Hill and the Presidential Trail

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While Hillary Clinton and the rest of the candidates are debating healthcare reform, President Bush and the Congress are at odds over a current program that's about to expire. The State Children's Health Insurance Program was created to provide coverage for children of the working poor—kids whose parents make too much for Medicaid but still can't afford private insurance. After ten years, both parties agree it's been a success—but it's scheduled to expire at the end of this month. In the Senate, Democrats and Republicans have agreed to expand it into the lower middle class. In the House, Democrats working alone have approved a much bigger expansion. President Bush has threatened to veto either version. Claiming that expansion of the program would move middle class families who can afford private insurance to let the government pay, the Administration has enacted new guidelines, requiring privately insured families to wait for a year before they're eligible for SCHIP.




Warren Olney