18,000 in Minnesota will Have Health Insurance Cut by Bush Admin.

by Ethan Calvin

For a long time, the Bush Administration has not been opposed to using federal funds for the State’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in order to insure adults. With all the debating this year on the expansion of SCHIP to more people, the Administration exercised their power by making new rules that make it nearly impossible for states to expand their children’s insurance programs.

States responded by suing the Bush Administration. Within their new 29-page SCHIP rule-book, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the federal government will also cut Medicaid funding for families earning between 100 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

This does not come as very good news for MinnestoaCare, the SCHIP program for Minnesota. They provide coverage for 18,000 adults who fall into this category. Without federal finding, the premiums are set to quadruple for these 18,000. “A significant loss of federal funding would seriously jeopardize the state’s ability to assist low-income residents in need of health insurance,” states a spokesperson for Governor Tim Pawlenty of MN.

So why does MinnesotaCare allow parents to be covered in the first place? “We believe that by covering parents, you improve access for kids,” said Minnesota’s Medicaid director, Christine Bronson.

The cuts would have been in effect right now, but the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid just granted Minnesota a two-week extension to work it all out. 29,000 fingers are crossed.

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