The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee vowed to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which expires in September.
On February 1, Sen Max Baucus (D, Mont) held a hearing about the future of SCHIP, a program established in 1997 to provide health coverage to uninsured children in families whose incomes exceeded the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Today, SCHIP covers about 6 million, including about 639 000 adults.
Michael Leavitt, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, testified that the White House is committed to renewing the program and keeping coverage for all current enrollees. But Baucus noted the Bush Administration has budgeted only $4.8 billion for the next fiscal year, which is only one third of the amount needed to cover all enrollees.
Mitka M. Ensuring Insurance. JAMA. 2007;297(10):1050. doi:10.1001/jama.297.10.1050-c