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House Passes Revised SCHIP Bill, but Doesn't Reach Override

October 26, 2007

On October 25th, the House again passed legislation to renew and improve the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  The vote, 265-142, was still 7 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override an expected Presidential veto. The October 25th vote follows a vote last week that fell 13 votes short of overriding the President’s veto of an SCHIP reauthorization bill (HR 976). We will continue to update advocates as the situation evolves.

This newest SCHIP bill (HR 3963) contains a number of changes and clarifications intended to garner the support of Republican House members that voted in favor of upholding the President’s veto.  These changes include:

  • Tighter standards for states seeking to open their programs to children in families between 200% and 300% of the federal poverty level (about $60,000 for a family of four),
  • New performance bonuses for states that provide funding to employed parents to cover the additional cost of enrolling their children in their existing workplace coverage (thereby avoiding families turning down employer coverage to access SCHIP), and
  • New standards to ensure that all SCHIP enrollees are citizens or legal residents, including new requirements for verification of Social Security numbers and citizenship documentation. 

HR 3963 maintains the overall goal of enrolling 10 million children in SCHIP over the next five years and making improvements such as a new requirement for equitable coverage of mental illness treatment.

Click here to view additional background on the SCHIP program.