These states are running out of CHIP funding

Elias Hubbard
December 15, 2017

A few dozen medical students and doctors marched at Chicago's Federal Plaza at noontime - to demand that the U-S government provide more money to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program.

OR has found a way to borrow $35 million from its Medicaid program to cover 120,000 children and 1,700 pregnant immigrant women who are covered through the Children's Health Insurance Program, allowing them to maintain coverage through April despite the ongoing failure of Congress to reauthorize the popular program. Congressional leaders have been unable to garner bipartisan support for the program.

Why? To make a political point about excessive government spending, and a growing deficit? "The reason CHIP's having trouble is we don't have any money anymore", Sen. That's a small and reasonable part of a $4 trillion budget. While the bill includes two years of funding for federally qualified health centers, it ignores key Medicare programs that rural hospitals in particular rely on. CHIP pays 97 percent of costs, with just 3 percent collected locally.

Gena Lenti, a first-year U. of C. medical student who helped organize the protest, said students wanted to bring attention to the issue on behalf of those who benefit from the program and might not have the means to get their voices heard.

Dozens demonstrate downtown to support the refunding of CHIP.

Melanie Lockridge, who said her 1-year-old daughter relies on CHIP, said Congress should resolve the issue long before IL runs out of funding in September.

He says some states are preparing for money they get to insure children to run out completely.

Illinois has enough funding left to continue the program through September 2018, according to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel gave an emotional monologue about his son, Billy, who recently had a successful surgery. There is no reason Congress should let families worry over the holidays. For CHIP in particular, the House continuing resolution pays for the five-year funding authorization with cuts to the ACA Prevention and Public Health Fund, shortened grace periods for enrollees in the ACA exchanges who are behind in premiums, and higher Medicare premiums for high-income beneficiaries. The health insurance, provided mostly through local coordinated care organizations, offers free coverage for the kids in these families.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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