President George Bush twice vetoed versions of a bill that would have expanded the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) amid concerns that parents who could afford private insurance would seek coverage under the program, depriving low-income children of coverage. Republicans who voted against the bill also were concerned the bill would expand coverage to adults and illegal aliens.
Last February, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum lifting SCHIP restrictions. Among the changes were dental care for children who don’t receive it under private insurance plans and an option for states to eliminate a five-year waiting period for pregnant women and for immigrant children to become eligible for the program.
USA Today reports that under Obama’s health care reform plan, Medicaid and SCHIP would expand to cover over 60 million Americans in 2019, an increase of 10 million. As expected, such an expansion would burden states already dealing with budget constraints, as well as increase pressure on primary care physicians.
Texas is considering expanding SCHIP to add 768,000 children and Medicaid to add 1.5 million adults over the next 10 years. (Source)