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Governor Asks Congress for Children's Health Funding

Sept. 24, 2007 — Seeking to reduce the number of uninsured children throughout the territory, Gov. John deJongh Jr. has written a letter to Congress asking for more money to set up a local State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a federally funded initiative that got its start on the mainland about 10 years ago.
Though the territory received about $1.2 million in SCHIP funding for fiscal year 2007, much more is needed to really get the program off the ground, deJongh wrote. SCHIP is administered via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to a national government website.
In large part because of the 50-percent cap placed on local Medicaid benefits, there are currently at least 12,000 to 15,000 uninsured children in the Virgin Islands who are unable to meet the centers' eligibility threshold for coverage, deJongh wrote in his letter.
Since they are also not covered by private insurance, at least another $12 million to $15 million is needed to cover the population of children who could qualify for the program, he said.
"It is my hope that you and your colleagues will consider the important needs of the children in the Virgin Islands and provide the necessary funding to establish a full-fledged SCHIP program," the governor wrote.
A recent Government House press release says deJongh's letter was sent to Sen. Max Baucus, chair of the Senate's Finance Committee; Sen. Charles Rangel, chair of the Senate's Ways and Means Committee; Sens. Jeff Bingaman, John D. Rockefeller IV, Charles Grassley, Tom Harkin, Edward Kennedy and Orrin Hatch; and Reps. Jim McCrery and John Dingell.
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Sept. 24, 2007 -- Seeking to reduce the number of uninsured children throughout the territory, Gov. John deJongh Jr. has written a letter to Congress asking for more money to set up a local State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a federally funded initiative that got its start on the mainland about 10 years ago.
Though the territory received about $1.2 million in SCHIP funding for fiscal year 2007, much more is needed to really get the program off the ground, deJongh wrote. SCHIP is administered via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to a national government website.
In large part because of the 50-percent cap placed on local Medicaid benefits, there are currently at least 12,000 to 15,000 uninsured children in the Virgin Islands who are unable to meet the centers' eligibility threshold for coverage, deJongh wrote in his letter.
Since they are also not covered by private insurance, at least another $12 million to $15 million is needed to cover the population of children who could qualify for the program, he said.
"It is my hope that you and your colleagues will consider the important needs of the children in the Virgin Islands and provide the necessary funding to establish a full-fledged SCHIP program," the governor wrote.
A recent Government House press release says deJongh's letter was sent to Sen. Max Baucus, chair of the Senate's Finance Committee; Sen. Charles Rangel, chair of the Senate's Ways and Means Committee; Sens. Jeff Bingaman, John D. Rockefeller IV, Charles Grassley, Tom Harkin, Edward Kennedy and Orrin Hatch; and Reps. Jim McCrery and John Dingell.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.