Obama expands SCHIP: 11 million kids now covered

February 5, 2009

In one of his first acts as President, Barack Obama signed an expansion of the State Children?s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). It will enable over 4 million new children to be included in the plan.

In one of his first acts as President, Barack Obama signed an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). It will enable over 4 million new children to be included in the plan.

SCHIP will now be extended to 2013 and will allow coverage of children in families whose incomes total up to 300% of the federal poverty line. This is in addition to the 7 million children already covered. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis puts the program’s price at an estimated $32.3 billion from 2009 to 2013.

Another new provision to the expansion will enable states to waive the 5-year waiting period presently mandated for legal immigrants to apply for SCHIP.

“Since it was created more than 10 years ago,” President Obama said during the signing, “the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been a lifeline for millions of children whose parents work full-time and don’t qualify for Medicaid, but, through no fault of their own, don’t have and can’t afford private insurance.“

“This legislation will allow us to continue and build on these successes,” he added. “This is only the first step...providing coverage to 11 million children through [S]CHIP is a down payment on my commitment to cover every single American.”