Significant gaps remain in children's health coverage. In
1995, 10 million children in America lacked health insurance. The
children's health initiative will extend coverage to up to 5 million
uninsured children by 2000 by strengthening Medicaid for poor children,
building innovative State programs for working families, and continuing
health coverage for children of workers who are between jobs. Today, the
Association of American Medical Colleges issued a letter of support for
the Clinton Administration's children's health initiative.
Strengthening Medicaid for Poor Children
12-Month Continuous Eligibility. Currently, many children
receive Medicaid protection for only part of the year. The President's
fiscal year 1998 budget gives States the option to provide one year of
continuous Medicaid coverage to children. The budget invests $3.7
billion over five years, covering an estimated million children who would
otherwise be uninsured.
Outreach. The President also proposes to work with the Nation's
Governors, communities, advocacy groups, providers, and businesses to
develop new ways to reach out to the 3 million children eligible but not
enrolled in Medicaid.
Building Innovative State Programs for
Children in Working Families
The President's budget provides $3.8 billion between 1998 to 2002
($750 million a year) in grants to States. States will use these grants
to provide insurance for children, leveraging State and private
investments in children's coverage through a matching system (as in
Medicaid). States have flexibility in designing eligibility rules,
benefits (subject to minimums set by the Secretary), and delivery
The Federal grants, in combination with State and private money,
will cover an estimated one million children whose families earn too much
to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage. The
grant program will also increase Medicaid enrollment by about 400,000
kids since some families interested in the new program will learn that
their children are in fact eligible for Medicaid.
Continuing Coverage for Children
Whose Parents are Between Jobs
The President's budget will give States grants to temporarily
cover workers between jobs, including their children, at a cost of $9.8
billion over the budget window. The program, which is structured as a
four-year demonstration, will offer temporary assistance (up to 6 months)
to families who would otherwise lose their coverage. This assistance may
be used to purchase coverage from the worker's former employer (through
COBRA) or other private plans, at States' discretion.
This initiative will help an estimated 3.3 million working
Americans and their families, including 700,000 children, in any given year.
The President's budget also makes it easier for small businesses
to establish voluntary purchasing cooperatives, increasing access to
insurance for workers and their children.
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only