The U.S. Senate passes the new compromise State Children's Health Insurance Plan legislation. The vote was 64 in favor of the bill and 30 votes against. H.R. 3963 passed the House last week. President Bush has stated that he will veto this bill.
The new SCHIP legislation includes the following:
*States will not be able to use SCHIP money to cover children in families with incomes above 300 percent of the federal poverty level. (New Jersey, the only state covering children up to 350 percent of the poverty line, will be temporarily allowed to continue.)
* Coverage of childless adults will be phased out in one year (the original bill allowed two years).
*All states must develop plans to minimize the shift from private insurance coverage (for example, providing bonuses to states that help parents pay for child coverage they receive through their employer).
*Bonuses to states will be targeted at enrolling the poorest children in Medicaid.
*States must verify citizenship status; no federal funds may be used to cover undocumented immigrants.
*CMS Moratorium language is included in this compromise legislation. This is important to children with developmental and cognitive disabilities.
How did our North Carolina Senators vote?
Senator Elizabeth Dole and Senator Richard Burr both voted nay.