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The SCHIP Shortfall Crisis: Ramifications for Minority Children

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Publication Date: March 2007

Publisher(s): Center for American Progress

Author(s): Meredith L. King

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Topic: Health (Health services for children)

Type: Report


The State Children’s Health Insurance Program has provided health coverage to many low- and moderate-income minority children since 1997. Out of nearly 27 million black and Hispanic children in the United States, more than 11 million had health coverage through SCHIP or Medicaid in 2005. SCHIP is a jointly financed state and federal program, authorized with a 10-year funding level of $40 billion. The authorization will expire in September, and Congress will consider legislation to extend the program in the coming months.

Yet some states’ federal funding is insufficient to last them until the end of September. The federal government allots funding to each state based on the state’s share of low-income and uninsured children compared to national rates rather than the state’s actual SCHIP enrollment, and 14 states therefore face budget “shortfalls” in fiscal year 2007 totaling over $700 million.

Through SCHIP, many minority children have experienced increases in access to health care services—recent research shows that health insurance decreases barriers to accessing health care services for racial and ethnic minorities by one-third. Yet, 5.5 million minority children still remained uninsured in 2005.