Kicking kids off coverage…

The New York Times reports on a press conference this morning by President Bush, again threatening a veto on extension and expansion of the State Child Health Insurance Program.

He’s right about the philosophical divide:

“What I’m describing here is a philosophical divide that exists in Washington over the best approach for health care. Democratic leaders in Congress want to put more power in the hands of government by expanding federal health care programs. Their S-CHIP plan is an incremental step toward the goal of government-run health care for every American.”

Instead, President Bush is seeking to disenroll children and leave them uninsured.

“Congress must pass a clean, temporary extension of the current S-CHIP program that I can sign by September the 30th. And that’s the date when the program expires.”

If there’s a flat extension, without any increase in funding, California will have to disenroll children in Healthy Families, our SCHIP program. In recent years, we’ve been using SCHIP funds that we had saved during the earlier years, when we had low enrollments.

If we just got the federal allotment we got last year, it doesn’t just mean that Healthy Families has to install a waiting list. It means actively kicking kids off coverage. If this impass lasts the entire year, we are talking of hundreds of thousands of children.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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