The Bush administration has raised eyebrows with recommendations that Congress dramatically increase the spending authorization for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Originally, SCHIP was set to get about $5 billion per year, or $25 billion from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2013.
Democrats and some Republican allies in Congress recently fought a bitter battle in an unsuccessful effort to increase spending by $35 billion, to a total of $12 billion per year, or $60 billion over 5 years.
President Bush vetoed the SCHIP expansion bill, and Congress ended up rushing to pass a bill that would increase SCHIP funding only slightly, to $6.6 billion in the current fiscal year, fiscal year 2008, which started Oct. 1, 2007.
Now the Bush administration has proposed increasing SCHIP spending authorization by $4.2 billion per year, or $19.7 billion over 5 years, to a 5-year total of about $45 billion.