Did Clinton help make SCHIP?

March 17, 2008

A Boston Globe investigation casts doubt onto whether Senator Hillary Clinton (D, N.Y.) was as integral to the creation of SCHIP as she has claimed on the campaign trail.

A Boston Globe investigation casts doubt onto whether Senator Hillary Clinton (D, N.Y.) was as integral to the creation of SCHIP as she has claimed on the campaign trail.

Clinton, running for president, has often claimed her experience with health care would help her pass her proposals once in office. Chief among them is a promise to give health insurance to every American. In speeches, campaign literature, and on her Web site, she claims credit for helping to start the State Child Health Insurance Program, SCHIP.

SCHIP was initiated by senators Edward Kennedy (D-Mass) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in 1997. The Globe reports that President Bill Clinton was initially opposed to the bill, since it would cost too much. Clinton eventually acceded to the idea. Reports differ as to how much the then-First lady was involved in getting the bill passed.

Both SCHIP senators have endorsed other candidates for president: Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama (D-Ill), and Hatch endorsed Mitt Romney and later John McCain (R-Ariz). All three senators running for president missed the Nov. 1 vote to extend SCHIP coverage, which passed without them.