This week’s Sunday edition of The New York Times includes a pointed editorial on the Bush administration’s treatment of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (or S-chip). Many states across the country have been raising the income cap on this valuable children’s health program–so as to include more children from struggling middle-income families, rather than just children from the poorest poor. But the Bush administration rolled that all back recently, when it sent a letter to state health officials telling them the new cap was 250% of the federal poverty level. Moreover, the letter stated, all states have to cover 95% of the poorest kids before reaching out to the less poor–a standard that is nearly unreachable, given how hard it is to reach the poorest families in the first place.
These requirements, plus a handful of others, the Times opines, “look so draconian as to be unattainable.” I highly recommend the editorial–it gives valuable information on the program itself and does a tidy job of deconstructing the logic of the Bush administration’s most recent cuts.