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JCPA backs kids’ insurance law

The umbrella body for U.S. Jewish outreach groups urged activists to press lawmakers to expand health care for uninsured children. “This is a critical time for the Jewish community to make its voice heard on an issue that will affect millions of children across the country,” the Jewish Council for Public Affairs wrote Thursday in an email to its constituent bodies. A bill renewing and enhancing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program is due to be referred next week to the full Senate by the Finance Committee. S-CHIP funnels funds through states to families that cannot afford health insurance but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. It is much harder for public pressure to affect legislation after the version known as the “mark up” has been referred to the full Senate. The JCPA backs provisions that would expand the program by $50 billion, reduce bureaucracy for immigrant children applicants and give incentives to states to reach out to uninsured. SCHIP currently insures about six million children, but another three million eligible children remain uninsured. It is thought that these measures would close the gap.