SCHIP Restrictions, Record Number of Americans Uninsured
NHF has sent an important email appeal to all its constituents, which includes anyone with a child with a chronic disorder like hemophilia. In a nutshell, the Bush Administration is trying to prohibit an expansion of the SCHIP, which it feels would encourage families to abandon private insurance in favor of state/federal funded insurance. NHF disagrees with this assessment and is asking constituents to consider emailing the White House directly to oppose a veto. Here’s the gist of NHF’s email:
“Bush Administration Blocks Expanded Healthcare Coverage for Children: Take Action Now
Prior to going into month-long recesses, both the House and Senate approved bills reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and allowing more states to expand eligibility for the program to more children in families above the federal poverty level. However, the Bush Administration, through the federal Center for Medicaid and State Operations, has instituted new policies that would severely restrict the ability of states to expand the SCHIP program, covering more children. In addition, these new restrictions may threaten the existing coverage that children in many states are already receiving. NHF has drafted a sample letter to President Bush expressing disagreement with this action and asking him to rescind it. You can help make a difference by personalizing the letter below with your own story and sending it to President Bush today.
Click here to view and personalize the letter, and send it to President Bush now.”
When I read this, I found this to be the most disturbing part of the news (taken from NHF’s website): “Ironically, the Congressional Budget Office reported that President Bush’s budget did not include enough funding for the SCHIP program to cover the children who are enrolled now. Therefore, it will not be able to cover those who are eligible but not yet enrolled, and/or those who might be eligible under an expanded program.” Ouch; I know personally a lot of families with hemophilia out there truly struggling.
But I encourage readers to investigate what’s up behind the headlines. For instance, I just read in the news wires today that 2 million more Americans are going without health insurance to bring the total to 47 million Americans without health insurance (making it seem even more perilous). Along with the news about SCHIP, this seems outrageous. But after digging a little, I read that these numbers may be misleading. The 47 million also includes illegal aliens and the temporarily unemployed. And yet, if you think about it, the current housing crisis will no doubt affect the wealth and employment of many, leaving more Americans than ever dependent on the government for health coverage. So, it’s not a great time to cut health care budgets, even though we’ve been saying to prepare for this for some time.
But don’t just jump on the bandwagon and fire off a message to the White House without doing your homework. Read the text of the issue, and know what the argument is about. See if you agree with it. NHF has put an explanation of what the issue is on its web site and you can check through the internet. (www.hemophilia.org) And if you are a family facing insurance difficulties, please call NHF (800-42-HANDI), or even call us and we can help direct you to someone who can help.