Vt will continue to provide health care coverage for children

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(Host) The director of Vermont’s Office of Health Access says the president’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program won’t affect children here as much as it may in other states.

President Bush objects to expansion of the program – called S-Chip – which states use to cover income-eligible children.

Joshua Slen says Vermont is prepared to continue to provide the coverage to children whose families earn up to 300 percent of the poverty level.

(Slen) "The veto in fact will not affect Vermont as acutely as it will other states and our s-chip program will continue throughout this fiscal year. We have ‘carry forward’ funds that will allow us to continue funding that program this year.  And so from a funding perspective the 3000 kids that depend on the schip program in Vermont are okay – they don’t need to worry. That program is funded for this entire year and Vermont‘s program will continue."

(Host) Vermont has one of the more inclusive Schip programs in the country.

Slen says he hopes President Bush and Congress can reach a compromise.

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