SCHIP Reauthorization: Weighing the Options

eAlert e563c613-39ef-44af-9544-ef006d9440fd

<p>At the end of the 2007 fiscal year, congressional authorization for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is set to expire. For SCHIP, the reauthorization process--historically a chance to review, refine, and revamp programs--will take place at a time when the uninsured rate for children is once again on the rise.<br><br>In a <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=26756&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D449518%26%23doc449518">new report</a> prepared for The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, George Washington University's Jeanne Lambrew, Ph.D., examines the array of policy options that Congress is likely to consider for SCHIP, a program widely hailed for assisting children whose families have too much income to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private insurance.<br><br>In addition to reviewing the program's history, goals, and performance, Lambrew describes how eligibility, benefits, and financing might be modified during reauthorization. She also discusses the policy and political implications of change.<br><br>The challenges of expanding and improving children's health insurance are "serious but surmountable," Lambrew believes. "Regardless of outcome," she says, "the debate over SCHIP reauthorization will offer an opportunity to reassess...the balance of federal and state governance, the relative roles of public and private insurers, the definition of coverage, and the public's willingness to pay for results."<br><br><em>Please also visit <a href="/chartcart/chartcart.htm">Chart Cart,</a> a resource on our Web site that offers free and convenient access to Commonwealth Fund charts and graphs.</em></p>