Date: August 15, 2007
Senate Passes H.R. 976, The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act of 2007
On August 2, 2007, by a vote of 68 - 31, the Senate passed
H.R. 976, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act of 2007. The CHIP reauthorization bill was initially considered as S. 1893. However, because the bill contained revenue measures – constitutionally required to originate in the House – H.R. 976 was used as a vehicle for the Senate to consider CHIP funding, with the text of S. 1893 substituted for the original House language. The modifications of interest contained in the Senate-passed bill are described below.
Unlike the House-passed reauthorization of CHIP (H.R. 3162), the Senate-passed H.R. 976 contains no changes to the Medicare program.
Verification of Medicaid and CHIP Applicants' Citizenship
• Would give States the option to verify U.S. citizenship or nationality for purposes of Medicaid or CHIP eligibility through electronic verification of name and Social Security number (SSN) combination. Under the new rules, a State could document citizenship by: (1) submitting the name/SSN of an individual to the Commissioner, and (2) in the case of an individual whose name or SSN is invalid, providing the individual with 90 days to present paper documentation of citizenship (e.g., a U.S. passport or valid State-issued driver’s license or identification card, or a birth certificate combined with a prescribed, acceptable identity document) and disenrolling the individual within 30 days after the end of the 90-day period if documentation is not provided.
• Would also require States opting for the electronic citizenship verification of new Medicaid or CHIP applicants to establish a program to submit each month to the Commissioner for verification of the name/SSN of each individual enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP that month who attained the age of 1 before the date of the enrollment.
Verifications for States Participating in the Express Lane Demonstration Project
• States participating in the Express Lane Demonstration Project(see footnote 1) for purposes of determining eligibility for State CHIP or State Medicaid plans would be required to verify applicants' citizenship or nationality using either the paper verification or electronic verification methods described above under “Verification of Medicaid and CHIP Applicants' Citizenship.” In addition, if States choose the electronic citizenship verification method, they would be required to verify their (over age 1) Medicaid or CHIP program rolls each month.
Protections for Families Caring for Injured Service Members
• Would amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to provide up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to employees who are caring for family members who have been injured or become ill in the line of active military service. Eligible employees could elect (or employers could require) that accrued paid leave be substituted for unpaid leave.
- Would prohibit for up to 52 weeks, the firing, demotion or any adverse action against employees who are absent from work in order to care for family members who have been injured or become ill in the line of active military service.
1 The Express Lane Demonstration Program would permit States to rely on findings by an Express Lane Agency to determine components of a child's eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP. Express Lane Agencies are need-based public programs, such as school lunch, food stamps, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Express Lane Eligibility (ELE) is a way to expedite enrollment into health insurance programs for large numbers of uninsured children, specifically those enrolled in other public programs.