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TN CoverKids Still on Congress’ “To Do” List

October 22, 2007

Norris, TN - Tennessee's "CoverKids" program is still in place. That's what parents need to know, even while Congress and President Bush are still at odds over whether to extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). Ed Shelleby, of the Children's Defense Fund explains that, even though some of the political talk has been tough, both sides are willing to negotiate.

"We're hoping that they will make minor adjustments to the bill, while still keeping the same number of children that would be covered under the bill that was already passed."

The original bill, passed by both houses of Congress before being vetoed by the President, would have extended coverage to an additional three million children. Shelleby adds getting them covered is still a priority; but how that happens could change.

"There might be some issues, for example, with premiums -- they might fiddle around with that, still insuring the same number of people."

Last week, the U.S. House failed to override President Bush's veto of S-CHIP coverage. The President said he opposed the idea of expanding coverage to more families because it could interfere with the private insurance market. If a compromise is not reached, federal S-CHIP funding is scheduled to end in mid-November.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - TN