The House and Senate Democratic leadership announced on September 21 that they had reached a final agreement on legislation reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The compromise legislation would provide an additional $35 billion over five years to the program funded by a 61-cent increase in the federal tobacco excise tax. The bill is expected to be considered on the House floor tomorrow, Sept. 25, with Senate floor action shortly thereafter. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill. The SCHIP program will expire on September 30, unless reauthorized. While the details of the bill are not yet known, it is understood that the agreement does not contain any of the House-passed Medicare provisions. It is unclear whether the bill addresses the Administration’s proposed regulations to cut back on the use of Medicaid funds for habilitation services and for education-related administrative billing costs and transportation services for special education students.
*Information provided by the Capitol Insider.