Wednesday, February 4: Senate Amendment to H.R. 2 – SCHIP

H.R. 2, the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (SCHIP) that passed the U.S. House on January 14 recently passed the Senate last week, and is now back at the House for final approval. If it passes the House today, President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

The Senate-amended bill is very similar to the House version passed last month:

•    It authorizes the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for four and a half years, through FY 2013, and provides for a $32.8 billion expansion of the program, increasing total SCHIP spending to $57.8 billion.

•    The expansion would provide health insurance to 4.1 million more children, for a total of 11 million children covered under SCHIP. It offsets the cost of the expansion by raising federal cigarette taxes by 62 cents a pack, for a total of $1.01 a pack, one cent higher than the House-passed version.

•    Like the House bill, the measure allows states to cover children of legal immigrants without the current five-year wait requirement. Unlike the House-passed bill, the Senate version does not impose new restrictions on referrals to “specialty hospitals” owned by physicians.

•    The measure is very similar to the two bills vetoed by former President Bush, except that those measures did not address benefits for children of legal immigrants. President Obama is expected to sign the bill if cleared by the House.

For more information on what the Republicans would like to see included in this legislation and how this particular bill falls short, check out the “SCHIP Principles” put together by the House Republican Conference.

ON FINAL PASSAGE OF THE SENATE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 2:

PASSES 290-135 (Roll Call Vote Not Yet Posted)

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Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

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