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    On February 4, 2009 President Obama signed into law H.R.2 which expands and reauthorizes the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The bill reauthorizes the program for another 4 and a half years and covers an additional 4 million children. The bill was one of the first pieces of legislation to be tackled in the new session, and marks the first step to nationwide health care reform promised by President Obama during the campaign.

    The program is designed to provide health coverage for children of households that do not qualify for Medicaid but do not make enough to pay for insurance. The previous maximum qualifying income was 200 percent the poverty level, with some variation between states. In the new legislation, the maximum level is extended to people with incomes 300 percent the poverty level. In addition, children of illegal immigrants no longer have to wait five years in order to qualify for health coverage. Spending on the program will increase by $32.8 billion during the next four and a half years and increasing coverage from over 6 million children to almost 11 million. SCHIP will be up for reauthorization again in 2013.

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    About Us

    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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    Meet your Policy Fellow: Leah Brynaert

    Leah Brynaert is Health Care Fellow & Correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student in Lyman Briggs College at MSU.