Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mainstream Headline Makes SCHIP Expansion Sound Unnecessary

While a City Paper article concedes that an estimate of uninsured children in Tennessee is in the 100,000's, the thrust of the story, crystalized in its headline, looks like an attempt to convey the idea that SCHIP expansion is unnecessary because Tennessee's SCHIP program ("Cover Kids") cannot find children to cover:

Reporter John Rodgers eventually reports that a primary cause of underenrollment may be the Bredesen Administration's failure to market the program effectively to families who don't know that it exists (a lack of communication would save the state money, after all). But that point has to be exhumed from the insinuation that low enrollment means no demand for children's health insurance coverage.

Are Rodgers and the NCP trying to sway broad public support away from SCHIP?

UPDATE: The Governor seems to be passing the buck for communicating coverage statewide in the CP article, but according to a 2006 CP article (not penned by John Rodgers), Tennessee delayed the start of the Cover Kids program for several months. Phil Bredesen is going to have to do more than just hold press conferences around the state if he wants to communicate this program to busy, working-class families.

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