In 1997 SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) was created to insure children in families with too much income to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance. SCHIP represents a fine balance, designed to maintain equilibrium between states and the federal government, as well as between political conservatives and liberals. It contains elements of both an entitlement program and a block-grant.

In volume 8, issue 1 of the JHCPU, 1997 issue, Earnestine Willis and Robert M. Kilegan suggest that in monitoring W-2 (a bold welfare initiative entitled “Wisconsin Works”), several important principles should be considered to ensure that families become financially independent and able to maintain secure lifestyles for their children. Their article focused on Wisconsin’s welfare reform and stated that like most states now and during that time, Wisconsin sought increased state flexibility in federalized programs. 

Wisconsin’s Welfare Reform and Its Potential Effects on the Health of Children, by Earnestine Willis, MD, MPH and Robert M. Kliegman, MD


  1. Antos J. Lessons from the Clinton Plan: Incremental Market Reform, Not Sweeping Government Control. Health Aff (Millwood). 2008 May-Jun;27(3):705-10.
  2. Lambrew J. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program: Past, Present, and Future.New York, NY: The Commonwealth Fund, 2007.
  3. Healthy People. History and Development of Healthy People. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011.

Photos: Possible beneficiaries of SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program).