Vote pending on kids' health insurance

10/17/07 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday) | Listen to this entire show:

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote tomorrow on whether to override President Bush's veto of a bill to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

SCHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program for children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid. It’s essentially a program for lower income families.

Today, SCHIP insures more than 6 million children, but 9 million children remain uninsured, with nearly 6 million of them eligible for SCHIP or Medicaid. In Florida, 250,000 children rely on SCHIP for health coverage, and 761,000 are uninsured.

But the president opposes the SCHIP bill because he says it expands health care to middle class people.

Joining us now is Ron Pollack, the executive director of Families USA, a national organization whose mission is to achieve high quality, affordable health coverage for everyone in the U.S.

The vast majority of the 3.8 million children who will gain coverage under the bill — more than 75 percent — have incomes twice the poverty level. That’s $41,300 for a family of four.

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