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Health Coverage for Children and Families in Medicaid and SCHIP: State Efforts Face New Hurdles

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Abstract:

States have been revitalizing their efforts to expand health coverage for low-income, uninsured individuals, particularly children. During 2007, states were bolstered by a positive fiscal outlook and the anticipation that strong SCHIP reauthorization legislation would be passed, conditions that led them to take affirmative steps towards improving access to health coverage through Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Coverage Program (SCHIP). Successes at the state level mark 2007 as a pivotal year, with eligibility increases for children representing the most aggressive push forward since the early years of SCHIP. Despite states’ recent bold initiatives to advance children’s health coverage, a string of federal developments is dampening the prospects for making real progress.