SCHIP Bill passes Senate Finance Committee



Continuously measuring blood pressure may help predict heart disease and related deaths among individuals with treatment-resistant hypertension, while blood pressure readings taken in a medical office do not appear to predict future heart risks, according to a report in November 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. About 10 percent to 30 percent of individuals

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By a 12-7 vote, the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday approved SCHIP reauthorization and expansion legislation that could add four million children to the program, the AP/Boston Globe reports (AP/Boston Globe, 1/16).

The bill, introduced by committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.), would expand the program by $31.5 billion over four-and-one-half years. The House passed a similar bill (HR 2) on Wednesday. The bill now goes to the floor, where Senate leaders are expected to amend Baucus’ language into the House-passed bill and send it to conference to resolve any differences.

The Finance Committee adopted an amendment by Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) that would allow states to waive the federally mandated five-year waiting period for documented immigrants seeking public health benefits in the case of pregnant women and children. The provision, included in the House bill, could add “several billion dollars” to the cost of the measure, CQ Today reports. According to CQ Today, the provision “was the only major point of disagreement” between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

Republican members of the committee were “upset” over several facets of the bill, CQ Today reports. They expressed concern regarding provisions that would eliminate the waiting period for documented immigrants, loosen citizen and residency documentation requirements, change policies on how to deal with people who transfer from private insurance to SCHIP and lessen income limits.

Republicans proposed several motions to increase restrictions for immigrants seeking SCHIP coverage; however, just one was adopted. The provision, submitted by Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would require states to review citizenship or legal residency status of SCHIP beneficiaries during the process of verifying beneficiaries’ income levels. Under the provision, SCHIP enrollees who lose their documented status while enrolled in the program would be disenrolled. The committee also adopted an amendment from Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that would allow states to offer dental insurance to children who have private health coverage but do not have dental coverage.

Grassley said that passing SCHIP reauthorization would complicate efforts to pass health care overhaul legislation later in the year. “In a lot of ways it makes more sense to do a simple extension of SCHIP for two years so we can work through how to fold SCHIP into a program that covers everyone,” he said (Armstrong, CQ Today, 1/15).


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The House on Wednesday voted 289-139 to approve a bill (HR 2) renewing and expanding SCHIP to about four million additional children, the New York Times reports (Pear, New York Times, 1/15). Under the expansion, similar to one that was vetoed by President Bush in 2007, children in families with incomes of up to

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Two newspapers recently published an opinion piece and an editorial on the qualifications of Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and chief medical correspondent at CNN, whom President-elect Barack Obama reportedly seeks to nominate as the next U.S. surgeon general. Summaries appear below. Peter Canellos, Boston Globe: Gupta has “fine” credentials “for a young doctor, but

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The House Science and Technology Committee has introduced legislation that highlights the growing attention on Capitol Hill to the need to strengthen federal efforts to learn more about the potential environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks posed by engineered nanomaterials. Nanotechnology is an emerging technology that promises to usher in the next Industrial Revolution and

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Congress was unable to pass legislation renewing and expanding the federal State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) last year, so it was extended long enough for the new administration and Congress to take on the issue. Pediatric leaders are hoping that the 111th Congress and the new White House can work together to put children’s

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Nearly one-fifth of all Californians under age 65 were without health insurance for all or some of 2007, according to a policy brief released today by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Drawing on comprehensive new data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the policy brief’s authors found that 6.4 million Californians lacked

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This article is republished with kind permission from our friends at The Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery of in-depth coverage of health policy developments, debates and discussions. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for Kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Copyright 2009 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.