Douglas dissapointed by S-chip funding proposal

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The Bush administration has proposed new federal guidelines on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as S-chip.

In Vermont, S-chip funds help pay for the "Dr. Dynosaur" program, which covers children at up to 300 percent of the poverty level.

The new proposal would restrict funding for S-chip to children below 250% of the federal poverty level.

Governor Jim Douglas said he is disappointed by the proposal, and accused the Bush administration of trying to retreat from its commitment to providing health care for children.

Douglas warned that several thousand Vermont kids are in jeopardy of losing health care coverage provided by the Dr. Dynosaur program.

(Douglas) "This is our effort to insure that young Vermonters get off on the best possible foot in their lives. It’s a lot cheaper to take care of kids to insure that they have the coverage they need rather than to pay for expensive chronic diseases later in life."

Douglas said the National Governors Association is united in it opposition to the new guidelines, and will work with Congress to increase support for the S-chip program.

We’ll be talking about this issue in-depth today at noon on Vermont Edition.

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