Understanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Using a Polity-Centered Approach

Using Theda Skocpol’s “polity-centered approach,” this paper analyzes the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by taking into consideration the process through which this legislation was conceived, crafted, and implemented with an emphasis on the roles that political parties and special interest groups played in this process and the historical developments that influenced what was possible in the political climate of the late 1990s. This paper argues that SCHIP is a useful model for understanding the polity-centered approach because it was made possible as much by the successes of past policies as it was by the lessons learned from past failures.

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