KCUR News
5:36 am
Tue July 31, 2007

Local Debate about Kids' Health Insurance, SCHIP

Kansas City, MO – As Congress continues to debate the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program local officials are talking about how to improve health care for kids. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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The State Child Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, is an expansion of Medicaid to cover kids in low-income families. There is a national debate underway right now on how much money should be given to reauthorize the 10-year-old program. Emily Smith, of Citizens for Missouri's Children, says in Missouri 63,000 kids are enrolled in SCHIP or as it's called in the state MC+. She says as kids develop it's imperative that they can see a doctor, which in the long run brings down overall health care costs.

Emily Smith: "Providing health insurance for children is the most cost effective thing we can do, they are really inexpensive to cover and you know as they get older they only get sicker."

Regional health providers will meet tonight, Wednesday August 1, at a public forum to discuss SCHIP at Penn Valley Community College.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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