New Jersey has filed a civil suit in the U.S. District Court in Newark, in an effort to preserve states’ ability to enroll what they say are moderate-income children in State Children’s Health Insurance Program plans.
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, says income-limit guidance that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued in August would force New Jersey to stop subsidizing health coverage for about 10,000 children in the state.
“SCHIP is an unqualified bipartisan success in New Jersey and in states across the nation, and the Bush administration’s determination to pursue a course of action that will harm our children’s health is incomprehensible,” Corzine says.
President Bush and HHS officials say states are getting too far away from the original SCHIP goal of providing health coverage for low-income children.
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“We are confident that our requirements are appropriate and will be sustained in a court of law,” says Jeff Nelligan, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Our chief goal with SCHIP is to ensure that the poorest kids and those with no health insurance are placed at the front of the line.”
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has agreed to join with New Jersey in the battle against the administration’s approach to setting SCHIP income guidelines.
Aside from Schwarzenegger, the governors of the other states supporting the Corzine suit are Democrats.