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State-by-State Analysis Finds 6.6 Million Children in SCHIP Last Year

By CQ Staff

August 13, 2007 – As lawmakers aim to overhaul the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a recent analysis found that more than 6.6 million children were covered by the program at some point last year and nearly 9 million children remain uninsured.

"The success of SCHIP over the past decade has been a rare piece of good news on the health care front," Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey said in an Aug. 10 statement. "This highly successful partnership between federal and state government needs to continue its good work and cover more kids."

The analysis, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that since Congress first authorized the program in 1997, the percentage of uninsured children in America has fallen by 24 percent. Having children covered by health insurance is important because uninsured children are more than three times less likely than insured children to visit a doctor in the course of a year, and more than half of all uninsured children did not have a "well-child" checkup in the past year—more than double the rate of children with insurance.

Before adjourning for the month-long August recess, the House and Senate passed different versions of SCHIP legislation (HR 3162, S 1893). President Bush has promised to veto them both, saying they are too large and that he favors a far smaller expansion. The program is set to expire Sept. 30.

SCHIP proponents urged Congress and the White House to reauthorize the program.

The report, a state-by-state analysis of children's access to health insurance and health care, including how that has changed since SCHIP was introduced, was prepared by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota. The report analyzes data from a variety of federal agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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