[Updated and Bumped]
Marching forward with change . . . we find that an expanded SCHIP program was introduced and sent on to the president for signing.
The bill (H.R. 2) was passed by the House this afternoon.
Some key provisions of the bill include expansion of the definition of eligibility to include families with incomes up to 200% of the FPL (federal poverty level) . . . about $36,000 for a family of four.
Of course SCHIP will be set up much like ordering by the numbers in fast food restaurants so our non-English speaking residents can be brought into the fold. Money is available for translation and interpreters for those who do not speak English.
And to make it even easier, proof of U.S. citizenship is not required. SCHIP will work under the honor system. All you need do is declare, presumably through an interpreter, that you are in fact a U.S. citizen. No proof is needed.
As long as you have a Social Security number, no problem. It is then up to the Social Security Administration to verify if the number is actually valid.
But in the meantime . . .
SCHIP is also expanding coverage beyond just medical benefits to include dental coverage as well. It also requires parity with medical & surgical benefits regarding mental health treatment.
The makers of Straterra and Abilify will love that.
(Straterra is around $135 monthly at wholesale while Abilify is closer to $450).
Of course Washington doesn't operate like the rest of the world. They have the ability to write checks even when they don't have money in the bank.
The estimated cost of this expansion is only $31 billion over the next four years.
But never fear. Congress expects a portion of this to be funded by smokers.
So light up for our kids and smoke them if you have them. The good SCHIP lollipop is ready to sail.
UPDATE [HGS]: Not that he needs any help, but I thought that this brief clip from Representative Steve King neatly sums up Bob's points: