Covering Kids' Health Needs
Until recently the debate over what to do about uninsured Americans had largely focused on adults, particularly the elderly. Now the focus has shifted to helping parents find affordable insurance for kids.
As the year ended, politicians continued to grapple with how to cover millions of uninsured kids, especially those of the working poor who don't qualify for Medicaid or can't afford private insurance. But legislation that would renew federal funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) stalled. As lawmakers debated how much to spend on the program, they confronted new questions about issues like covering pregnant women, and whether the benefits should include things like dental and mental health care services.
What to Watch:
As the number of uninsured kids grows and the debate about SCHIP continues, the question of how to ensure that all kids in the United States get the health care they need is likely to be a prominent issue in the presidential race. The well-being of children and families is a perennial issue for those in political life — but will it finally be solved? Or after elections, will it be forgotten once again?
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