Congress Must Fund CHIP Program

Henrietta Strickland
December 23, 2017

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), first enacted in 1997, enables relatively low income families who don't qualify for Medicaid to get low cost, high quality insurance for their kids.

The funding provides money for CHIP through the end of March as the GOP faces criticism from Democrats who argued Republicans were prepared to leave town without extending a program that provides support for 9 million children across the country. States that fall into this category are permitted to shut down CHIP coverage if federal funding runs out.

The Joint Budget Committee of the Colorado General Assembly unanimously approved $9.6 million Thursday to extend Colorado's version of the plan known as Child Health Plan Plus, that was in case Congress did not come to a decision.

The House and Senate must approve a continuing resolution to fund the government before the end of the week. One Republican in the House of Representatives expressed confidence that Congress will do exactly that.

Congress Must Fund CHIP Program
Congress Must Fund CHIP Program

-California: Plans to shift numerous 1.3 million covered children and pregnant women to Medicaid. "We are distraught for the families and almost 9 million children who rely on CHIP for their health care". Another Morning Consult/Politico poll showed that when voters were asked if CHIP reauthorization was important enough to prompt a government shutdown, 42 percent answered "yes definitely" and 25 percent answered "yes, maybe".

The state will freeze enrollment on January 1. "By the end of February, this number grows by another million children". Now that Congress won't move on CHIP until January, Alabama will likely drop 7,000 children on New Year's Day. That's certainly better than nothing, as it will stave off immediate disaster for those two million children who would otherwise lose their health care in January, but by March, those kids - and everyone who gets their health care from CHIP - will be in the exact same position they're in now.

Erin Miller, the vice president of health initiatives with the Colorado Children's Campaign told Public News Service that lapses in CHIP coverage could be financially devastating for families.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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