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Public Policy & Legislation

Health Care Reform

Comprehensive health care reform is currently being addressed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. One of the major points of contention is whether or not there will be a "public option"—an option for people to choose a government-administrated health care program as an alternative to private insurance programs. There is, as of yet, no specific legislation that has been introduced.

For the most up-to-date information, visit Faith for Health, Faithful Reform in Health Care and Health Care for America Now!. All are national coalitions of which the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is a member and have significant resources to support your education and organizing efforts.

State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP)

When the last attempt at health care reform failed in 1993, Senator Kennedy and the Clinton administration (in this case, Hillary Clinton) looked for something smaller in scope that might garner bipartican support. The result was State Children's Health Insurance Plan, which was introduced into public discussion by President Clinton during his 1997 State of the Union address. The legislation was largely written by Senator Kennedy, and co-sponsored by Senator Hatch. After an initial defeat, SCHIP was re-introduced, passed and signed into law on August 5, 1997.

In September 2007, Congress approved H.R. 976, which would renew the State Children's Health Insurance Plan for five years, add $35 billion to the budget and expand coverage to 4 million more recipients. The bill was vetoed by President Bush. A similar measure, H.R. 3963, was also approved by Congress and vetoed by President Bush. Finally, in December 2007, Congress passed H.R. 3584, which extends funding for SCHIP another 18 months. In February 2009, President Obama signed legislation expanding the program to an additional 4 million children and pregnant women, including for the first time legal immigrants without a waiting period. On February 4, 2009, President Obama signed Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009.

For more information contact la_womensissues @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Tuesday, August 23, 2011.

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