Opposition Growing Against Bush SCHIP Rules

Hooray for the bipartisan gubernatorial strong shoulders of the USA. From the AP:

Monday, September 17, 2007 ALBANY — New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lobbied the Bush administration Monday to roll back rule changes that limited the scope of a popular children’s health insurance program.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, the governors said 28 other governors had joined their effort to pressure the administration to reconsider changes to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“The requirements amount to a unilateral restriction on state authority to provide health insurance coverage for children and undermine the foundation of the state-federal partnership upon which SCHIP was built,” Spitzer and Schwarzenegger wrote to Leavitt.

Under new guidelines issued in August, when a state expands eligibility to higher-income children, it has to show it has enrolled at least 95 percent of eligible poor children in public health programs. Poor children in this instance are families with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level — $34,340 for a family of three.

New York sought to expand eligibility to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $68,680 for a family of three — the highest level in the nation. New York did not show that it met the new 95 percent threshold.

Democratic lawmakers and governors from both parties have said the rules are misguided and will result in more uninsured children. The administration says the rules will refocus the program on the low-income people it was intended to serve.

Baloney! The Bush administration has made it clear, time after time, that it is philosophically committed to maximizing the use of US citizens as profit-fodder for the private insurance industry.

The new guidelines required New York to make sure that middle-income children were uninsured for at least a year before allowing them into SCHIP. The rule is designed to keep families from dropping private health insurance so that they could get cheaper or better coverage through public programs.

New York’s application called for a six-month waiting period. State officials have said they could not justify making children wait a year for health coverage.

But the federal government can. Big difference between “six month waiting period” and “uninsured for a year.” What do these people think parents are going to do with junior and sis? Keep them in a bubble for a year?

The governors who joined Spitzer and Schwarzenegger were from Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Yep. The country is turning a darker shade of purple every day.

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