Now that every state across the country has received federal approval for their State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) plans, some members of Congress are working to help provide the resources necessary to achieve enrollment goals. The AAPendorsed Improved Maternal and Children's Health Coverage Act (S. 1646) has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) as the companion to a similar bill in the House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation, cosponsored by Sens. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), takes steps to ensure states have the funding and support they need to reach out and enroll eligible children in SCHIP.
"For families who struggle every day to provide their children with the basics, such as food and shelter, health insurance is often an impossible expense," said Sen. Lincoln at a Sept. 28 press conference introducing the bill. "There are ways to reach these children and provide them with the health care they need and deserve."