NC Child Insurance Shortfall

North Carolina could face a $43 million shortfall with a children's health insurance program next fall if Congress doesn't resolve a stalemate.

Congress and President Bush have been at odds over expanding
insurance coverage for low-income children. Each state receives
money to provide coverage for children in families who earn too
much to qualify for Medicaid. Bush vetoed two bills this fall. A
federal stopgap spending measure is set to expire Friday.

The state Division of Medical Assistance told General Assembly
members Tuesday that without changes the state may have to make up
the shortfall for its N.C. HealthChoice program with additional
state funds. Lamakers also would have to consider whether to reduce
the number of covered children, now at 117,000.


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