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( – promoted by Clark)

In June of this year the MO Budget Project announced that approval of the SCHIP legislation would mean almost $1 billion in matching federal funds for MO.  Well, that estimate was based on the rosiest proposal on the board, which was the House version of the legislation.  That version called for an increase in SCHIP of $50 billion.  The compromise bill that will be sent to The Decider for approval limits the SCHIP funding increase to $35 billion, which means that Missouri’s share will be less than $1 billion and closer to $700 million depending on the variables.  This is still a tidy sum for Missouri health care recipients.  It is a also lovely chunk for the State of Missouri to have circulating through their economic streams. 

Funding to provide health care for low income children leverages state monies with a match from the feds.  SCHIP (known as MC+ in Missouri) is a good deal for Missouri because for every dollar that Missouri spends in the SCHIP program, the state receives $2.72 in Federal matching funds. That is 40% more than the  $1.60 in matching funds received  for every dollar spent on Medicaid.  MC+ currently covers approximately 107,000 low income children in our state. According to US census figures of August 07, another 127,000 children in MO remain uninsured.

More than 6.6 million children were covered by SCHIP nationally during the past year.  According the recent census, about 9 million American children lack health insurance. The number of uninsured children continues to rise because of the growing lack of federal matching funds

Governor Blunt has not seen fit to join the 30 or so governors that have called upon The Decider to support the SCHIP legislation. If our new Medicaid plan in Missouri is any indication, it is pretty clear that Blunt loves the insurance lobby.  Still we wish that he would go ahead and tell The Decider to sign the bill because to do so is good for Missouri and for Missouri’s children. Or…who knows.  Maybe he could tell Bush to sign it just because it is the right thing to do.

An interesting postscript.  Both Bond and Claire signed a letter to The Decider earliler in the month petitioning  him to remove the new August regulations imposed on SCHIP by the Department of Medicare and Medicaid Services.  So we seem to have McCaskill on board, but more interestingly we may have Kit on board as well, for a vote of override.