CHIP funding expected to pass next week

Lydia Fleming
January 14, 2018

By now perhaps you've heard that Republicans in Congress are denying health care to poor children, because what else would those robber barons do?

"I'm proud to announce that the first piece of legislation I'll co-sponsor will ensure a long-term funding solution for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)", Jones said in a statement Thursday.

Dr. Mahendra Patel, a pediatric cancer doctor, has begun giving away medications to some of his patients, determined not to disrupt their treatments for serious illnesses like leukemia, should Congress fail to come up with renewed funding for a key children's health program now hostage to partisan politics.

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Before Congress passed the short-term funding fix in late December, CHIP programs survived on the states'unspent funds and a $3 billion pool of CHIP money controlled by CMS. Now, numerous 9 million children enrolled in the program, as well as pregnant mothers and babies born over the next while risk being without health insurance coverage as CHIP funding runs out. It's a drastic step, since the federal government pays, on average, almost 90 percent of CHIP costs.

Some states will reach the bottom of their CHIP funding before March, according to an analysis published Wednesday by Kaiser, which said that before the funding extension 18 states estimated they would run out of money by the end of January. The CHIP benefits allow him to continue his work as a civil rights attorney, providing free representation for people with disabilities. It would extend the Children's Health Insurance Program through 2022. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) that revised the cost estimate for a five-year funding extension down to $800 million. And since the Republican tax bill makes Obamacare more and more expensive over time, it makes CHIP more and more cost-effective over time.

"This uncertainty and the ongoing inaction by Congress increases the likelihood that states will take action to prepare families for the worst".

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"With all of their policies that have driven up premium costs in the individual market, not just the mandate repeal but also cutting cost-sharing reduction payments, they made CHIP even more of a bargain than it already was", Joan Alker, the executive director of Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families, told TPM.

Federal funding for CHIP originally ran out October 1. Every Child Matters, a non-partisan non-profit, urged the public to call on their elected representatives to "act immediately on a 5-year CHIP reauthorization". As it happens, that estimate only included seven years of funding, for reasons I couldn't quite figure out.

A few states, including Louisiana and Colorado, plan to use state funds to make up for the lack of federal money.

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