On January 29, the Senate approved, 66-32, H.R. 2, a measure that would reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) through September 30, 2013, after adopting a substitute amendment by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT). The substitute amendment would reduce the two semi-annual allotments in FY2013 from $3 billion to $2.85 billion. The substitute amendment also would raise the one-time payment to the secretary of Health and Human Services by $300 million to $11.706 billion. While the bill normally would proceed to a House-Senate conference committee, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has indicated that the House will take up the Senate-passed version; the House initially passed the bill on January 14 (see The Source, 1/16/09). President Obama has indicated that he will sign the measure into law.
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. SCHIP’s current authorization (P.L. 110-173) expires March 31, 2009.
The following amendments were defeated or tabled during debate on the measure: