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Congress Approves Extension of Children’s Health Insurance Program

On December 18, the Senate approved, by voice vote, a bill (S. 2499) to extend the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) through March 31, 2009; SCHIP’s current authorization, provided via a continuing resolution (P.L. 110-137), expires on December 21, 2007. The House approved the measure, 411-3, on December 19. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law.

Congress approved two previous SCHIP reauthorization bills (H.R. 976 and H.R. 3963), but both were vetoed by President Bush (see The Source, 9/28/07 and The Source, 11/2/07).

SCHIP was created by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33) and provides health insurance to low-income children who are ineligible for Medicaid, but unable to obtain private health insurance coverage.

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