Barbour: Congress needs to fix SCHIP formula

Published 6:28 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mississippi’s governor says he wants Congress to rewrite a formula so poor states receive the money they need under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour and four other governors testified Tuesday in Washington before a congressional subcommittee.

President Bush vetoed a bill last fall that would have put more money into SCHIP. Barbour said that bill would have helped wealthy states at the expense of poor ones.

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In Mississippi, SCHIP covers children in families at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that’s an annual income of less than $42,400.

Barbour says the current federal formula leaves Mississippi $50 million short in SCHIP this budget year.