76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

OPPOSING THE CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES DIRECTIVE LIMITING EXPANSION OF THE CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM

WHEREAS, the number of uninsured children increased by 611,000 to 8.7 million from 2005 to 2006; and

WHEREAS, children without coverage are more likely to end up in emergency rooms when conditions could have been addressed sooner at the primary care level; and

WHEREAS, uninsured children get less medically necessary care, and are more likely to have unmet needs for care; and

WHEREAS, the State’s Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)provides coverage to children in low-income families whose income exceeds Medicaid income eligibility limits; and

WHEREAS, every state has an SCHIP program, and SCHIP has not only been successful in covering newly eligible children but also in triggering major improvements in Medicaid that allowed millions of uninsured children who had been eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled to gain coverage and access to care;and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Research Service have issued legal opinions stating that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)August 17, 2007 letter to state officials is a rule and must be submitted to Congress and the Comptroller General before it can take effect; and

WHEREAS, CMS has inappropriately limited states’ abilities to expand SCHIP to families above 250 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) based on its August 2007 letter to state officials; and

WHEREAS, during the current environment of economic uncertainty the imposition of new requirements limiting access to SCHIP for children in families losing private coverage could adversely affect working families’ access to needed health care; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors opposes the CMS August 2007 letter and its May 7, 2008 clarifying letter to states that limit states’ abilities to expand coverage for children; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports moratoria on these CMS letters and calls for the Administration to rescind such directives and permit states flexibility to expand public coverage to higher income families as deemed necessary and appropriate by each state.