Sorry for the light blogging lately – been very busy at work – but this press release came across my desk and I thought it was worth posting.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Chambliss Press Office (202) 224-3423
Isakson Press Office (202) 224-7777
February 12, 2007
Chambliss, Isakson Introduce Legislation to Fix Funding Shortfall for SCHIP Program
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today introduced a measure to fix the current funding shortfall for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The senators filed an amendment to the Continuing Resolution legislation, H.J. Res.20, being considered this week by the U.S. Senate that provides budget authority for federal agencies and programs to continue in operation until the regular appropriations acts are enacted.
Chambliss and Isakson have also filed their proposal as a stand-alone bill. Georgia is one of several states experiencing a funding shortfall in Fiscal Year 2007. Both senators have been working tirelessly to find a short-term funding solution as well as a long-term solution that addresses the current flaws in the SCHIP formula when Congress reauthorizes the program this year.
“Time is running out on this funding issue for Georgia’s children,” said Chambliss. “Hard-working Georgians who qualify for this program don’t need to wonder how they are going to pay for their children’s health care. We must bridge the gap so that these children can continue to be insured, and I hope the Democratic leadership will allow this amendment to be considered. While we need a short-term solution now, we’ve got to find long-term solutions that address the current flaws in the SCHIP formula when we reauthorize the program this year.”
“Senator Chambliss and I have been working every day and exploring every opportunity to find a solution to the shortfall that Georgia and many other states face under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. We believe this approach is the best option to ensure that Georgia’s children do not lose their health insurance, and we urge Democratic Leader Harry Reid and all of our colleagues to support it,” Isakson said. “We also must re-authorize the program this year and permanently fix a funding formula that penalizes states such as Georgia that do such a good job providing health insurance for underprivileged children.”
The Chambliss-Isakson measure would redistribute Fiscal Year 2005 and Fiscal Year 2006 funds from states that have an excess of more than 200 percent in federal SCHIP funds to cover the estimated $745 million shortfall for the 14 states in need for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2007. If the money is not used, it will be returned to the federal treasury. Under the Chambliss-Isakson measure, Georgia would receive an estimated $131 million to prevent a funding shortfall for Fiscal Year 2007.
The bill also includes a provision that would provide less funding for states that currently provide adults healthcare with SCHIP funding. Georgia is not one of these states.