ABC News: Children Have High Blood Pressure; GOP: So What?

It’s nice to know that the GOP is on the right side of the abortion debate, but after birth, it’s tough luck, kid! ABC’s Good Morning America had a feature this morning about an impending child health crisis:

But hey, we wouldn’t want socialized medicine. Live free or die, literally!

Copyright: McClatchy Newspapers
Source: Knight Ridder Washington Bureau (KRT)

“WASHINGTON: Congressional Democrats and state officials are mulling their options on how to counter sweeping new policy changes by the Bush administration that will make it nearly impossible for states to expand a popular health care program for children.

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program was created in 1997 to provide health coverage for kids whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private health insurance. The program is administered by the states and the federal government, and it historically targets youngsters from families that earn up to twice the federal poverty level. In 2007, that’s $41,300 for a family of four.

But to help curb the growing numbers of Americans without health coverage, states began expanding the SCHIP’s income eligibility thresholds to include more children from higher-earning families. At least 10 states have adopted or are considering proposals to cover youngsters from families that earn up to three times the poverty level, or roughly $61,950 for a family of four.

About 6.6 million children are covered through the SCHIP program. Of the estimated 9 million uninsured youngsters in the United States, between 5 million and 6 million are eligible for SCHIP coverage.

President Bush and many GOP lawmakers oppose the coverage expansions, saying they go well beyond the low-income children the program was intended to cover. The president also has said that higher program eligibility limits would cause “crowd out,” in which families drop private coverage to enroll their children in the SCHIP plan, which is much less expensive.”

High Blood Pressure?

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