President’s Budget May Provide States With Inadequate Funding To Maintain Current SCHIP Programs – Budget Does Not Provide Funds to Insure More Children

Source: Edwin Park, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 7, 2008

December 2007, Congress extended the expiring State Children’s Health Insurance Program through March 2009. As part of his fiscal year 2009 budget, the President proposes to reauthorize SCHIP through the end of fiscal year 2013. The budget proposal would provide an additional $19.7 billion to states for their SCHIP programs, above the $5 billion-a-year funding level assumed in the budget baseline.

The proposed funding increase has been portrayed in some media reports as a significant expansion of SCHIP to cover more children. Yet while the $19.7 billion amount does substantially exceed the amount proposed for SCHIP in the budget the President submitted a year ago, it would not provide sufficient funding for states to significantly expand their SCHIP programs and cover many more uninsured low-income children. In fact, the amount that the President’s new budget proposes for SCHIP likely would not even be sufficient to enable states simply to maintain their current SCHIP programs.

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