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H.R. 2, Bipartisan Children's Health Bill, Will Provide Coverage to 11 Million Children
Date:1/13/2009

d adequate funding are needed to identify and enroll them. This bill gives states the resources and incentives necessary to reach and cover millions of uninsured children who are eligible for, but not enrolled in, SCHIP and Medicaid.

Improves SCHIP benefits -- ensuring dental coverage and mental health parity. Under the bill, quality dental coverage will now be provided to all children enrolled in SCHIP. The bill also ensures that states will offer mental health services on par with medical and surgical benefits covered under SCHIP.

Improves outreach tools to streamline enrollment of eligible children. The bill provides $100 million in grants for new outreach activities to states, local governments, schools, community-based organizations, safety-net providers and others.

Improves the quality of care for low-income children. The bill establishes a new initiative to develop and implement pediatric health quality measures and improve state reporting of quality data.

Gives states the option of covering certain legal immigrant children. The bill gives states the option of covering legal immigrant children who have been here less than five years under SCHIP and Medicaid. The current five-year wait period can mean the difference between preventing or treating health conditions that can affect a child's prospects for a healthy and productive life -- or leaving those conditions undetected and not prevented, costing taxpayers much more in the long run. (The House passed this provision previously on August 1, 2007 as part of the Children's Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act.)

Prioritizes children's coverage and phases out coverage of childless adults and parents. The bill phases out the coverage of childless adults and parents in SCHIP.

Is fully paid-for -- with an increase in the tobacco tax and a provision regarding self-referral to physician-
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SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
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