Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced legislation to provide healthcare to all children regardless of family income, automatically enrolling all children born after 2007 and enrolling older children over a five-year period. Parents would choose whether to enroll their children in private plans or a government program such as Medicaid. If a gap in coverage occurs, a program called Medikids would automatically pick up coverage. Families below 150% of the federal poverty level would not pay premiums or cost-sharing charges such as deductibles and copayments. Those between 150% and 300% of the poverty level would pay reduced premiums and cost-sharing charges. Those above 300% of the poverty level would pay 25% of annual premiums and the full cost-sharing charges. The bill limits the total out-of-pocket expenses for premiums and cost-sharing for families at no more than 5% of their adjusted gross income. -- by Tony Fong
Lawmakers seek coverage for all children
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