The American Hospital Association called on President Bush to sign newly revised legislation the Senate approved to reauthorize the State Childrens Health Insurance Program.
The Senate voted 64-30 Thursday to approve the bill, nearly a week after its passage in the House. President Bush, vetoed a slightly different version of the bill in early October, said he would veto this version as well. There were not enough votes in the House to override a presidential veto.
Every day, SCHIP helps uninsured children across the nation receive the care they need for a healthier beginning. Americas hospitals support improving and extending this important program, said Richard Pollack, the AHAs executive vice president, in a written statement.
The bill would fund the program at $35 billion above the current baseline of $25 billion over five years using tobacco tax money as a funding source, but would phase childless adults out of the program within one year instead of two and take more steps to prevent substitution of SCHIP coverage for private coverage, as well as ensure that illegal immigrants would not obtain coverage. It would also set income eligibility at up to 300% of the federal poverty level, just over $60,000 for a family of four based on 2007 guidelines. -- by Jennifer Lubell
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