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Governors Issue Appeal for Children's Health Care

According to the Star Tribune, at the National Governors Association meeting on Saturday, 13 governors expressed alarm that they were going to run out of federal money for a progam that provides health insurance to children. The governors appealed to Congress and the Bush administration to take action. They also wrote a letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress. Consequences of not having the program include freezing enrollment, restricting eligibility, increasing premiums charged to low-income families or reducing benefits such as dental and vision care. One of the Republican governors that signed the letter was Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. The State Children's Health Insurance Program covers more than 6 million children in families that have too much income to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy private insurance.

According to the Associated Press, in the Pioneer Press, Georgia and New Jersey are two of the 14 states that are expected to run out of money for the progam. The governors want two things, an estimated $745 million to keep the program float through October and also changes to Presidet Bush's budget. More than a dozen states have expanded the SCHIP program to cover adults in those families. Among the 6 million people the program insures, now an estimated 639,000 are adults.