News Republicans Rossi and Hastings MIA on Children’s Health Care
posted by October 27 at 7:51 AMon
Check out Thursday’s House vote on expanding children’s health care.
There are a couple of noteworthy things.
1) Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8, Bellevue)—facing a serious Democratic challenger next year— is a ‘Yes’—just as he was last week when he voted to override Bush’s veto. (Reichert voted No on the original expansion bill in August.)
2) Rep. Doc Hastings (R-4, Central Washington) didn’t vote on the bill. He was a ‘No’ on overriding Bush’s veto last week. And he was a ‘No’ on the original vote last August.
Rep. Hastings has been under pressure from Gov. Gregoire to support SCHIP expansion because Washington state’s efforts to cover more kids—an additional 38,500—will be jeopardized without the federal expansion. 11,000 kids in Hastings’s district would be covered if the bill passed.
As I Slogged on Thursday (when gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi wouldn’t tell me where he was on the SCHIP bill):
The state legislature (at Gov. Christine Gregoire’s insistence) passed a bipartisan bill in Olympia last year that expanded children’s health coverage by $64 million over two years—adding 38,500 children to state Medicaid coverage. If the SCHIP bill at the federal level goes down, the state’s expanded coverage for children would be jeopardized.
The bill raised the eligibility standard from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 250 percent (and 300 percent by 2009). For a family of three, 300 percent of the federal poverty level is $51,500.
This expansion—covering 604,000 children in total at an overall cost of $1.6 billion over two years—is partly dependent on the SCHIP bill at the federal level, which would bring in about $90 million over two years according to the State Dept. of Social and Human Services.
I should add: About 50 percent of our overall coverage for children comes from the feds.