From Anna Edney:
The House passed an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) today, 289-139. The ball is now in the Senate’s court, where its Finance Committee is poised to mark up Finance Chairman Max Baucus’ bill Thursday… The House and Senate bills contain some differences. Most notably, the $32.3 billion House bill allows states to lift a five-year coverage delay for legal immigrant children and pregnant women and puts restrictions on physician-owned specialty hospitals… The bill will cover an additional 4 million children, bringing the total number receiving coverage through SCHIP to 11 million.
This new expansion of SCHIP is expected to be one of the first bills the House hopes to put on Obama’s desk. It is exciting to see this health insurance program move towards the inclusion of immigrant children and pregnant women, two traditionally underserved groups. This is also a great victory for reproductive justice since it supports the health and care of pregnant women. However, it is unfortunate that with the Hyde amendment still in place this package cannot be inclusive of things like a woman’s right to choose.
Contributed by Cecilia Marquez