Members of the Senate Finance Committee plan to meet Tuesday to consider a “chairman’s mark” of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program reauthorization bill, committee leaders said Friday.
The chairman’s mark, unveiled Friday, calls for increasing the program’s budget to an average of $12 billion per year for the next 5 years, from the current allocation of $5 billion per year, according to a joint statement issued both by the Democratic leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and the committee’s health subcommittee, and by the most senior Republicans on the committee and the health subcommittee.
President Bush has proposed holding SCHIP authorization to an average of about $6 billion per year over the next 5 years. The White House announced Saturday that the president would veto the kind of SCHIP expansion described in the Senate Finance Committee chairman’s mark.
Provisions of the chairman’s mark call for:
- Changing the state SCHIP allotment formula.
- Creating an emergency fund.
- Letting states use information from food stamp programs and other initiatives for low-income families to find eligible children
- Giving states the option of covering prenatal care for pregnant women.