The State Childrens Health Insurance Program has signed up nearly 70% of its target population, but 1.8 million eligible children have yet to be enrolled, the Urban Institute reports.
Using 2005 data from the Census Bureau, researchers found that only 25% of SCHIP enrollees live in families with access to employer-sponsored coverage, far below the Congressional Budget Offices earlier estimate of 40%. Some 38% of SCHIP enrollees live with a parent who is uninsured, and nearly all enrollees with an uninsured parent are from working families.
President Bush is requesting $5 billion in new money over the next five years to fund SCHIP, although the administration wants to tighten the requirement to pay for children from families who are below the 200% poverty level. About 16 states currently include children who are at 300% or more of that rate. At a news briefing earlier this week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said at least $15 billion would be needed to maintain coverage at the current level over the next five years.
Underfunding childrens healthcare is one of the most egregious steps the president is taking with this budget request. Hundreds and thousands of children would not get covered under SCHIP under this proposal, he said. Read the report. -- by Jennifer Lubell