The fiscal 2008 budget resolution approved today by the Senate Budget Committee includes $50 billion to fund the State Childrens Health Insurance Program above its baseline over five years. The current funding level for SCHIP is $25 billion over five years.
President Bushs budget request includes only $2 billion for SCHIP once Medicaid interactions are accounted for, said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee in his opening remarks to the resolutions markup.
Conrad said a $50 billion funding level would expand coverage of the estimated 6 million children who are eligible but not fully enrolled in either SCHIP or Medicaid, as well as maintain coverage for all currently enrolled children. The full Senate is expected to take up the resolution next week.
The House Budget Committee, which will be taking up its own budget resolution next week, couldnt confirm that it would earmark the same amount for the program, but a committee aide said it would be a priority for the panel. -- by Jennifer Lubell