The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from
expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted
new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families," according to the NY Times.
After learning of the new policy, some state officials said
yesterday that it could cripple their efforts to cover more children
and would impose standards that could not be met. “We are
horrified at the new federal policy,” said Ann Clemency Kohler, deputy
commissioner of human services in New Jersey. “It will cause havoc with
our program and could jeopardize coverage for thousands of children.”
The Children’s Health Insurance Program has strong support from governors of both parties, including Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger
of California, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Sonny Perdue of Georgia.
When the Senate passed a bill to expand the program this month, 18
Republican senators voted for it, in defiance of a veto threat from Mr.
Bush. The House passed a more expansive bill and will try to work out
differences with the Senate when Congress reconvenes next month.
Bush is also demanding that children go one year without any health insurance before being enrolled in the state programs and is short-funding the program....
The Congressional Budget Office
has said that the president’s budget, which seeks $30 billion for the
program from 2008 to 2012, is not enough to pay for current levels of
enrollment, much less to cover children who are eligible but not
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