Health Reform Capitulation Will End SCHIP?

As we watch Kent Conrad and Max Baucus continue to dismantle any meaningful health care reform in their feverish desire to please Republicans and the insurance industry, are they throwing away the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) too?

Buried in an article in today’s New York Times:

But some liberal Democrats, like Senators John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, expressed reservations about concessions being made by Democrats to keep a few Republicans on board.

Mr. Rockefeller said he was unhappy that the legislation would end the Children’s Health Insurance Program and could reduce the scope of benefits for 11 million children in the program.

Asked if he would support the bill, Mr. Rockefeller shot back a somber, stony look. “Can’t you see the joy on my face?” he asked.

Rockefeller’s office was contacted to clarify the meaning of his “somber, stony look,” and according to an aide in his office:

He would not support a bill that reduces the effectiveness of that (SCHIP) legislation.

Great. But the question remains; how many Senator will support a bill that excludes a public option, employer mandates and ends SCHIP?

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