N.J. warns it may sue over children’s health plan

WASHINGTON New Jersey governor Jon Corzine warned that the state could sue the federal government if it chooses to cut back on a children’s health insurance plan, he said Wednesday.

The new regulations of the State Children’s Health Program imply that state governments would be forced to cover 95% of poverty–level families’ health insurance before granting coverage to any middle-class children. Another regulation would also make children who have no health coverage wait a full year before joining state plans.

Corzine, siding with New York Governor Spitzer and California Governor Schwarzenegger, said that no state could meet the proposed requirement, and issued a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“The practical effect of this new policy would be that thousands of innocent children will lose or be denied health insurance coverage and will be forced to join the growing ranks of the uninsured,” Corzine said in the letter to the agency.

In New Jersey, the program has covered 122,000, Corzine said, and the new rules would deny coverage to 10,000 kids.

The New Jersey governor declared that the state would keep covering children in families with income of up to 350% of the federal poverty limit, citing a series of waivers the federal agency granted. 

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