To the Bush Administration Governor Corzine of New Jersey will sue over SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program)
October 2, 2007 1 Comment
October 1, 2007
Governor Jon S. Corzine stated today in part:
“SCHIP is an unqualified bipartisan success in New Jersey and in states across the nation, and the Bush Administration’s determination to pursue a course of action that will harm our children’s health is incomprehensible. This same Administration previously signed off on our decision to cover the 10,000 kids they are now seeking to kick out of SCHIP, and the lawsuit we filed today demonstrates that we will simply not let that happen. Washington should be a partner to states that are trying to cover more children, not an opponent, and I urge the President to reverse course, withdraw the letter, and sign the bipartisan legislation before him.”
In a letter sent on August 17, the Bush Administration informed states they would no longer receive reimbursements for children in families over 250 percent of the federal poverty level unless they meet questionable and insurmountable goals. The state of New Jersey has had an aggressive enrollment program and is one of the best in the country for the needy children of the USA.
They have been able to secure many waivers from the government, including one as recently as last year from the Bush Administration. The current status of the coverage includes children in families with up to 350 percent of the currently set poverty level. If the path of the letter sent was to take hold, approximately 10,000 New Jersey children would be impacted.
Senator Frank Lautenberg is quoted as saying:
“We will use every means at our disposal in court and in Congress to overturn President Bush’s misguided and dangerous policy. The President is literally trying to take health insurance away from thousands of children in New Jersey and we can’t let that happen.”
In the Administration’s letter they also desire to impose unreasonably harsh restraints on state programs. Which would include a 1 year “crowd out provision” this would have the affect of requiring children to wait for an entire year without coverage before becoming eligible for SCHIP. The current policy in New Jersey only requires that a child lack health insurance for a 3 month period.
Governor Corzine had already made the Bush Administration aware that he would challenge the course of the letter he recieved by responding in a letter of his own which he sent out earlier this month. However the President made clear by his threatened veto of bipartisan legislation which would allow states the flexibility to further expand SCHIP that he did not agree.
“All year, the Bush administration has resisted efforts to ensure more children have access to health insurance,” Congressman Frank Pallone said. “In order to reach more eligible children, states need the flexibility to run their programs as they see fit. President Bush is seriously undermining that flexibility, and is threatening to veto bipartisan legislation that keeps such flexibility intact, which is why New Jersey has no other choice than to file this lawsuit.”
This court filing by New Jersey is on the same day that seven other states have voiced that they to would pursue legal action to challenge the administration and its latest directive. The states are those of Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York and Washington.
One Trillion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at what price, the health of our children are most sacred commodity?