Since hard economic times have hit, the pervasive thought is a high probability that more families will fall within the federal guidelines of poverty than ever before. Therefore, I feel we will see a resurgence of home based care, homeopathic care, more elderly living at home and more seriously ill children being taken care of in the home. Our Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act of 2009 by a vote of 290-135, and President Obama signed it into law in a special White House ceremony on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009.
I hope that Wyoming will allocate more money to Children’s Health Care, because many of us feel that it is a much needed investment into the future. For those that are not aware Wyoming Kid Care CHIP offers health insurance coverage for Wyoming’s children and teens through age 19 that are uninsured and meet income and eligibility guidelines that are not eligible for Wyoming Equality Care (Medicaid).
When the CHIP program began in 1997, Wyoming children in families earning up to 133% of the federal poverty level were eligible. The upper limit currently is 200% of the poverty level but most are looking for at least a 50% bump with this new reauthorization to 250% of the federal poverty level. The CHIP program has been successful in helping to insure more children from target populations; however, despite this success the percentage of uninsured children from income brackets just outside of the current regulations increased from 1995-2005 and the trend looks to continue within our current economy.
Even though the CHIP program is great for those that qualify what about those that don’t and what about care givers of the children that qualify? How are we assisting their needs as well as the child’s?
I realize that there are numerous issues involved within our States’ Health Care system and we may only be able to fix small portions at a time but perhaps we should attack this issue sooner rather than later especially with our president’s latest agenda in hand.