Pennsylvania's Senate has advanced one of the governor's secondary health care priorities -- a move to rid the Children's Health Insurance Program of a six-month waiting period.

 

Children enrolling in CHIP, the state's nationally recognized health care program for kids, would not have to wait six months before getting coverage under a bill poised to go to the governor's desk.

The waiting period has been in place for children older than 2 as a way of ensuring employers or consumers wouldn't drop private coverage to enroll in the public program.

But that has long been the subject of calls from frustrated constituents, according to Sen. Don White, R-Indiana.

"This is a complaint that a lot of us have had, especially in regards to not so much the renewal of the CHIP program, which is a great, successful program, but the down period, the six-month waiting period," White said.

Deleting the waiting period is a top priority for the governor.

That, along with CHIP's two-year reauthorization, has passed in the Senate by a unanimous vote.
The same is expected to occur in the House.

The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Nick Micozzie, R-Delaware, said voting against it would be "like voting against apply pie and motherhood."