BUSH SIGNS KIDCARE BILL - Mitch Perry

03/11/04

Bush signs KidCare bill

Governor Jeb Bush has signed a bill

providing enough money to remove more than 90-thousand children from

a subsidized health insurance waiting list.

 Under the bill, nearly 25-point-3 (m) million dollars from state

and federal coffers will be directed to the popular KidCare

program. It allows families with low incomes to buy cheap health

insurance for their children.

 The bill also tightens how families get into the program. One

change would prevent many families from enrolling if they can

obtain private insurance through an employer for less than five

percent of their income. Another change would require more proof of

income before parents can enroll.

 Democrats and some children's advocacy groups have railed

against the bill's passage, saying they disapprove of both the

eligibility-requirement changes and the possibility that coverage

may eventually be denied.

Miami Dade County Mayor Alex Pinellas, who has worked on childrens issues applauded allowing thousands of children to get into the KidCare Program, but he says the removing of a waiting list for other children is just 1 problem with the legislation just signed by Governor Bush (roll tape#1 o.q." on this issue")

The new money would cover those children on the KidCare waiting list through January 30th. By some estimates, more than 25-thousand children have signed up since that

cutoff date.

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