New York Republicans are joining with the state’s Democrats to ask the federal government to let the Empire State include moderate-income families in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services moved Friday to reject New York’s application to expand its SCHIP program to include children in families with incomes extending up to 400% of the federal poverty level.
“New York has not demonstrated that its program operates in an effective and efficient manner with respect to the core population of targeted low-income children,” Kerry Weems, acting CMS administrator, wrote in a letter to the New York State Health Department.
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, says New York has made vigorous efforts to get the lowest-income families into SCHIP.
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“I find it unconscionable that the president would stand between children and one of the most basic human rights–health care,” Rangel says.
Meanwhile, at least 3 Republican House members from New York — John Kuhl Jr., Thomas Reynolds and James Walsh — are saying the Bush administration rejection of the SCHIP expansion application could hurt low-income children in New York.
A fourth New York Republican representative, Vito Fossella, already has urged federal officials to relax SCHIP expansion eligibility requirements.
The current SCHIP program authorization will expire Sept. 30.