Authorization for SCHIP expires this September, and, in the coming months, Congress will be debating the program’s extension. Established in 1997 with an authorized 10-year funding level of $40 billion, SCHIP’s accomplishments in providing coverage to an estimated six million children are now widely acknowledged. SCHIP pursues its relatively simple goal – broader coverage for low- and moderate-income children – through a relatively complicated structure. So before key decisions can be made about the program’s future, it is important to have a baseline understanding of what makes the program work.
What are SCHIP’s principal strengths and challenges? Why did some states structure their SCHIP programs as Medicaid expansions, while others chose to create new, stand-alone programs? What differences in benefits are there between SCHIP and Medicaid? Have outreach initiatives significantly affected enrollment? Has the financing structure of the program helped or hindered state efforts? What are the key ingredients to a successful program at the state level?
To help address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured sponsored a February 9 morning briefing. Panelists included: Diane Rowland, executive director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured; Genevieve Kenney, principal research associate with the Urban Institute; and Gayle Lees Sandlin, director of the Alabama Department of Public Health. Both Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) moderated the discussion.
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)