July 25, 001
Sheets on Congressional Proposals to Use $28 Billion to Expand Coverage for Low-Income Parents
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This year's federal budget resolution has a reserve fund of $28 billion that can be used to help reduce the number of uninsured people in the United States. One of the main proposals that is under discussion and that is likely to be considered by the Senate Finance Committee would give states the option to expand insurance coverage for low-income parents of children who are eligible for Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
An earlier paper (Jocelyn Guyer, Congress Has a $28 Billion Opportunity to Expand Coverage for Families with Children, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, July 2001 at www.cbpp.org ) discussed the general context and the importance of prompt action by Congress. The attached package of fact sheets provide information on a few key aspects of the proposal to expand health insurance coverage for low-income parents:
- Insuring Parents Helps Children: A Fact Sheet. Discusses how previous state initiatives to expand eligibility for parents have led to substantial increases in the enrollment of low-income children and how this helps improve children's access to health care.
- The Vast Majority of Low-Income Uninsured Parents Are Part of Working Families: A Fact Sheet. Explains that most low-income uninsured parents are in working families who are unable to obtain private job-based insurance.
- Helping Married Families by Expanding Parents' Insurance Coverage: A Fact Sheet. Explains that three-fifths of uninsured, low-income parents are married and that expansions of eligibility can reduce the risk that women lose insurance if they marry.
- Improving Rural Parents' Health Insurance Coverage: A Fact Sheet. Discusses the fact that rural families are more likely to be uninsured and more likely to use Medicaid, so that they could be aided by efforts to expand parents' insurance coverage.