In the waning days of 2007, Congress and the President failed to reach a compromise on expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Instead, a stopgap measure was passed and signed reauthorizing the program in its current form for one more year in the hopes that a compromise might be reached in 2008.
Earlier in the year, Congress passed two different versions of a bill expanding the program to cover more children. However, both bills were vetoed by President Bush and despite broad bipartisan support, the votes needed for an override could not be mustered.
SCHIP is an important federal program that provides healthcare coverage to children in low-income families, including families affected by bleeding disorders. The President cited the cost of the bill and the potential for insured children to seek coverage under SCHIP as some of the reasons for his opposition. A statement issued by the White House following the original veto described the expansion of the SCHIP program as “part of the Democrats' incremental plan toward government-run health care for all Americans.”
The National Hemophilia Foundation supports the expansion of SCHIP and has expressed our view to the President and members of Congress. We will continue to monitor and report on this issue as it progresses, and ensure that the concerns of Americans affected by bleeding and clotting disorders are heard.