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Home > Advocacy > Alerts and Updates > Selected Alert

 
 

LEGISLATIVE ALERT

7/22/2008

Harmful Directive Concerning SCHIP

Harmful Directive Goes Effective Aug. 17

A harmful directive concerning SCHIP will go into effect in 26 days unless you take action TODAY! Your Senator sits on the Appropriations Committee and has the power to stop this illegal measure!

On Aug. 17, 2007, the Administration issued a restrictive policy directive, issued in the form of a letter to state health officials, that will leave hundreds of thousands of children uninsured. This directive was found illegal by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The GAO and CRS deemed the directive is a rule that should have been submitted to Congress for review first!

The Appropriations Committee is expected to mark-up the Second Emergency Supplemental bill on Thursday, and Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ) is expected to offer an amendment to delay the Aug. 17 SCHIP Directive!

Tell your Senator to support the Lautenberg amendment to protect SCHIP and Medicaid coverage for children!

ACTION REQUIRED

Call your Senator from the list of Senators below!

MESSAGE

* Support the Lautenberg amendment to delay the Aug. 17 directive.

* The August 17, 2007 letter is illegal. Both GAO and CRS have said that the Administration violated the law in issuing the August 17 letter. If we fail to overturn this directive, we are allowing an illegal policy that harms children to remain in effect indefinitely. As with the Medicaid regulations, CMS should not be allowed to undermine the authority of Congress or the statutory requirements for public rulemaking.

* Hundreds of Thousands of Children Will Become Uninsured. Some states are subject to the August 17 requirements now, but all states covering children above 250% gross income will have to fulfill the requirements as of this August. Children will lose coverage because of the application of this directive. We have already seen the effects of August 17 in Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and New York.


Senate Appropriation Committee Members that Need Calls!

Democrats

Robert C. Byrd, WV, Chair*
Daniel K. Inouye, HI
Patrick J. Leahy, VT
Tom Harkin, IA
Barbara A. Mikuski, MD
Herbert H. Kohl, WI
Patty Murray, WA
Byron L. Dorgan, ND
Dianne Feinstein, CA
Richard J. Durbin, IL
Tim Johnson, SD
Mary Landrieu, LA
Jack Reed, RI
Frank R. Lautenberg, NJ
Ben Nelson, NE

Republicans

Thad Cockran, MS, Ranking Member*
Ted Stevens, AK
Arlen Specter, PA
Pete V. Domenici, NM
Christopher S. Bond, MO
Mitch McConnell, KY
Richard C. Shelby, AL
Robert Bennett, UT
Larry E. Craig, ID
Kay Bailey Hutchison, TX
Sam Brownback, KS
Wayne Allard, CO
Lamar Alexander, TN

BACKGROUND

The Administration issued a restrictive policy directive, issued in the form of an August 17, 2007 letter to state health officials, that makes it next to impossible for states that are already covering or desire to cover children in families who earn over 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL).

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued legal opinions earlier this year indicating that the August 17 SCHIP directive is a rule for purposes of the Congressional Review Act and, therefore, in violation of the statutory requirements for Congressional notice and review. The Congressional Review Act requires that a rule must be submitted to both Houses of Congress and the Comptroller General before it can take effect. Both agencies cite the dramatic change in long-standing SCHIP policy and the binding effects of the August 17 letter as reasons for reaching the conclusion that the directive is, in fact, a rule.

For more background, and for the latest updates, visit the Children's Monitor at http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/monitoronline.htm.


© Child Welfare League of America. The content of these publications may not be reproduced in any way, including posting on the Internet, without the permission of CWLA. For permission to use material from CWLA's website or publications, contact us using our website assistance form.


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