Day in Washington Podcast #8 – State Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization

Day in Washington’- The Disability Policy Podcast explores and discusses various aspects of disability policy. Each episode will cover a specific issue within disability, and/or a disability-related news article. These 8-10 minute podcasts offer an easy to understand introduction to disability policy and resources for those interested in further study. You can find the text of each podcast in the comments.  If you have difficulty downloading the podcast, please right-click and save it to your computer for playback.

Episode Summary:

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a national health insurance program to provide for the growing numbers of uninsured children, including children with disabilities.nnWith the rising costs of medical care, private insurance is becoming too expensive for many working and even middle-class families. This can put them in a tenuous situation if their employer does not offer health insurance. SCHIP acts like a safety-net providing health insurance to children whose families cannot afford it.

However, SCHIP’s authorization runs out on September 30th of this year and unless it is reauthorized, the program will expire leaving states without the federal funds to support the program.

Audio File:  Day in Washington Podcast #8 – State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

Show Notes

– Introduction, Date of Podcast

– State Childrens Health Insurance Program

– Closing and Contact information

– Disclaimer

RESOURCES

Children’s Coverage and SCHIP Reauthorization – Background Brief
http://www.kaiseredu.org/topics_im.asp?id=704&imID=1&parentID=65

Understanding the Federal SCHIP Debate (Includes side-by-side comparisons of both House and Senate SCHIP bills)
http://www.kff.org/medicaid/7675.cfm

State Children’s Health Insurance Program: Past, Present and Future – Commonwealth Fund
http://www.cmwf.org/usr_doc/991_Lambrew_SCHIP_past_present_future.pdf

SCHIP FAQ
http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/forum/SCHIPFAQ.htm

SCHIP Information from the National Conference of State Legislatures (Includes direct links to both bills)
http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/chiphome.htm

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – State Children’s Health Insurance Program
http://www.cms.hhs.gov/home/schip.asp

Key Disability Provisions in H.R. 3162
http://www.c-c-d.org/press_room/CHAMP-Act-Disability-Provisions090407.pdf

Support Letter Detailing the Disability Provision in the House versus the Senate version of SCHIP
http://www.c-c-d.org/task_forces/long_term_serv/letter-on-CHAMP-co-chairs.pdf

2 comments for “Day in Washington Podcast #8 – State Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization

  1. admin
    September 15, 2007 at 2:41 am

    Day in Washington – Podcast #8 (September 14, 2007)

    INTRODUCTION

    Welcome to a Day in Washington. Day in Washington is your disability policy podcast covering legislative issues of interest to the disability community. We also spotlight specific bills and other related news articles. I’m your host, Day Al-Mohamed working to make sure you stay informed. This is Podcast #8 for September 14th, 2007.

    This episode, I would like to discuss the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP. If you are anywhere on Capitol Hill this week you will probably have heard a lot about it. It is one of the most contentious and probably most difficult issues currently in Congress.

    Historically, most people received their health insurance through their employer, but over the years, the number of employers providing health insurance at low to no cost has decreased significantly and many lower income jobs do not provide health insurance at all.

    So, in 1997 Congress created the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP as a national health insurance program to provide for the growing numbers of uninsured children. Together with Medicaid, they act rather like a safety-net providing health insurance to children whose families cannot afford it.

    Medicaid is a needs-based program that provides health insurance to eligible low-income parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities. SCHIP builds on Medicaid to provide insurance coverage to “targeted low-income children.” Specifically, children who don’t have health coverage and not eligible for Medicaid…usually because their families make too much money. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of people out there who are working and make enough to get by, but with the rising costs of medical care don’t make enough to afford private insurance for themselves or their children. This is especially true when you consider that in 2006 your average family premium was a little over $11,000 a year.

    Like Medicaid, SCHIP is administered by the states with the Federal government providing broad general guidelines. The cost of the program is shared between the Federal government and the states, with the Federal government covering a larger share, of about 70%.

    Last year alone, SCHIP covered almost 7 million children. Together with Medicaid, the SCHIP program has played a crucial role in helping reduce the rate of uninsured low-income children by one-third in the last 10 years. SCHIP’s authorization runs out on September 30th of this year and unless it is reauthorized, the program will expire leaving states without the federal funds to support the childrens’ health coverage.

    In addition to that, there are a number of other critical issues being discussed such as the facts that:

    · Even with the high participation rates in SCHIP and Medicaid (75%), more than nine million children are still without any health coverage at all.

    · Fourteen states are facing federal financing shortfalls this year and 37 states are spending more this year than their allotments. They are tapping into carry-over funding from previous years.

    · If SCHIP is funded at current levels, because of rising costs, it will not be able to cover children currently in the program and will certainly not be able to reach more of the children who are now uninsured.

    Both the Senate and House have passed legislation to reauthorize SCHIP, with different provisions and costs, but they will have to come to agreement on those issues and be able to override a threatened veto by the president.

    To list a few points that are in both bills:

    1. Both bills increase funding to the program, with the Senate version proposing a $35 billion increase and the House version supporting a $47 billion increase. Both versions finance the cost of this through increasing the federal tax on tobacco.

    2. Both bills make some modifications to allow for mental health parity. In the past, under SCHIP, physical health conditions might be 100% covered, but mental health conditions were only partially covered. I believe at only about 75%. This would make the payment equal.

    3. Both offer the states an option to cover pregnant women.

    4. And both states offer outreach and enrollment incentives to try and reach those other 6 million uninsured children in the United States.

    There are numerous other provisions in both bills that may impact people with disabilities and I encourage you to explore further. Other resources are also listed in the show notes. The Senate version of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), is S. 1893 and the House Version, referred to as the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act (or CHAMP Act), is HR 3162.

    Talks between House and Senate negotiators last week failed to resolve key differences between the bills, including how much to spend on the program and how to address extensive Medicare provisions included in the House bill but not in the Senate version so SCHIP will continue to be a “hot topic” in Washington in the foreseeable future.

    CLOSING

    And that is it for this week’s edition of Day in Washington. Please feel free to contact me at http://www.dayinwashington.com regarding comments or suggestions. I’d love to hear from you, but for now, this is your host, Day reminding you to stay well and stay informed.

    EPILOGUE

    Music for this podcast was provided by the podsafe music network @ podsafemusicnetwork.com. The music was composed and performed by 2012 and can be found at http://www.twentytwelverecords.com.

    Any opinions and perspectives expressed in this podcast should not be taken as the official stance of any group or organization affiliated with the host. In addition, none of the facts, data, or grammar have been checked for accuracy.

    Thank you for listening.

Comments are closed.