Even though President George Bush only wants to provide health coverage to the poorest families, many states are planning to extend coverage to an increasingly middle-income population, according to an Associated Press story today.
Under current law, only children in families up to 200% of poverty ($41,300 for a family of four) could qualify for the program.
But 18 states, including California, allow children to qualify if the family income is higher than 200%. (In California, children in families at 250% of the poverty level could qualify, though many proposals in the Legislature — including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s — would increase that to 300% of poverty – $51,510 for a family of four).
New York state just expanded its program to include children in families earning up to $82,600 a year — or four times the poverty level.
This irritates the Bush administration, which opined that if everyone followed NY’s lead, then 71% of children in the country would be covered through public programs.
Now, that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.