This Forum session explored the history of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), including the policy and political context in which it was conceived. Speakers offered federal and state perspectives of the program from the time of its inception as part of the bi-partisan Balanced Budget Act of 1997, its first years of implementation, attaining outreach and enrollment milestones, struggling through the state budget crises of the early 21st century, and looking to the future. Speakers offered their insights into the program's achievements and challenges, focusing on the influence the much younger SCHIP has had on the more mature Medicaid program. Finally, the discussion touched on some of the potential policy and financing issues that will likely emerge in the process of reauthorizing the program, the authority for which expires on September 30, 2007.
Jeanne M. Lambrew, PhD, Associate Professor, George Washington University; Jocelyn Guyer, Senior Program Director, Center for Children and Families, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute; Gayle Lees Sandlin, Director, ALL Kids Children's Health Insurance Program, Alabama Department of Public Health
With comments from key congressional staff members including Jim Cantwell, House Committee on the Budget; Alice Weiss, Senate Committee on Finance; and Becky Schipp, Senate Committee on Finance.
See also "Reauthorizing SCHIP: A Summary of Selected Issues" (Issue Brief No. 829, January 8, 2009).