mental health

health action 2009

Bills in Brief

It took over a decade for health care reform to lose its Clinton-era-induced taboo status - but 2009 could be the year Congress approves sweeping changes to health care.

While lawmakers rev up for large-scale reform, though, some smaller health bills seeing action include:

SCHIP. Congress head butted with Bush the past two years over expanding State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which covers low income children who aren't low income enough to qualify for Medicaid. Having lost the battle in '07 and '08, lawmakers put SCHIP at the top of their agenda in '09, passing an expansion of coverage to 4 million additional children (up from 7 million) at an additional cost of $32 billion. (WP)

health action 2008

Bills in Brief

It took over a decade for health care reform to lose its Clinton-era-induced taboo status - but while health care policy is coming back in vogue, America will have to wait until 2009 before any major reforms become ripe for passage.

In the meantime, in 2007 Congress set out to pass a series of mini health care initiatives - which it may follow up on in 2008:

SCHIP. Congress head butted with Bush last year over expanding State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which covers low income children who aren't low income enough to qualify for Medicaid. Congress, which wanted to double the scope of the act, lost. It considered a second go in '08, but now SCHIP has officially been punted to '09 (NYT). Meanwhile, the administration sent states a letter saying they had to tighten eligibility for SCHIP, only to have the GAO weigh in that the administration overstepped its legal boungs (GAO).

health bills 2007

Bills in Brief

It took over a decade for health care reform to lose its Clinton-era-induced taboo status - but while health care policy is coming back in vogue, America will likely have to wait until 2009 before any major reforms become ripe for passage.

In the meantime, in 2007 Congress set out to pass a series of mini health care inititiatives - which citizenJoe kept track of here:

SCHIP. The State Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers low income children who aren't low income enough to qualify for Medicaid, was up for renewal this year - and Dems (with the help of moderate Republicans) locked horns with president to try to double the scope of the act. In late September, the House and Senate passed a bill that would increase spending on SCHIP to $60b over five years (up from $25b), paid for by a 61cent tax on ciggies.

mental health

Facts

The big - on again off again - policy issue in mental health is parity; although a bill was passed in 1996 requiring equal coverage for mental health treatment, advocates say insurance companies still unfairly restrict services for the mentally ill.

General

Americans who suffer from a "diagnosable mental health disorder":

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