These new plans have come from a concerned federal government. They feel that the states are expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program to such an extent that it is making people drop their private insurance. Hence the statement from federal officials those children must have been without insurance for at least a year before qualifying.
This is not all. States will also have to assure the federal government that at least 95 percent of the children eligible for the program or for Medicaid are enrolled in either of those two programs.
The State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) was created in 1997 to help children whose families could not afford insurance, yet did not qualify for Medicaid. S-CHIP was touted to expand recently when both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to broaden its availability.
The new policy, which was laid out in a letter to state health officials Friday, got a cool reception in Vermont.Calling the new policy unconscionable and shortsighted, Gov. Jim Douglas vows to work with Vermont's three-member Congressional delegation and the National Governors Association to fight the plan, which he warns would eliminate coverage for 2,125 children.
U.S. Rep. Peter Welch and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders supported him. Said Sanders, I-Vt:"It is outrageous that President Bush is slamming the doctor's office door on sick children.
"We are the only major nation which does not provide health insurance for all children. Instead of throwing kids off health care, Bush should be working with us to cover more kids," Sanders added.
Welch opined that the plan would undermine bi-partisan work in Congress to insure more children.
"In Vermont, we have recognized that our children deserve access to quality health care and that this care is critical to a healthy childhood," he was quoted.