Saturday, 26 May, 2018

The Reporter Two-Way: CHIP funding

Long-Term Deal for Children's Health Again Eludes Congress The Reporter Two-Way: CHIP funding
Isabel Fisher | 22 December, 2017, 02:09

"Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program has reached a crisis level and my future colleagues must stop playing political football with the health care of our children and act now to ensure Alabama's most vulnerable do not begin losing coverage".

As Christmas approaches many families in Idaho who rely on the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for affordable, comprehensive healthcare for their children are worrying about whether that coverage will continue in 2018.

What happens is uncertain because those children on the CHIP program come from families making too much to be on the state's Medicaid program TennCare.

Congress has yet to renew federal funding for the program, which is called hawk-i in Iowa.

Not every state can simply end coverage for children. "They won't let us", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in an interview, asserting that Democrats had blocked a multiyear extension.

Florida is slated to run out of CHIP funding in January, according to the latest report from Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families. "It's just incredible that now we're going to have or potentially have more people without health insurance", Rep. England said.


As a Friday government shutdown deadline loomed, Congress was looking at ways to pass a stopgap measure and boot unfinished items like CHIP, an $81 billion disaster aid package and protections for young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children into next year.

Although Congress has stepped in and provided eleventh-hour money twice in recent months, the will-they-or-won't-they drama has put pressure on state officials about how to respond. CMS and the states have been scrambling to shift other funds around to keep the program going.

Udow-Phillips says MI could withstand this lapse in funding longer than some other states.

More than 400,000 low-income Texas kids and expecting mothers will be covered by a federal health care plan for a month longer than they expected.

But as Congress rushed Thursday to pass short-term pending legislation preventing a weekend federal shutdown and leave town for the holidays, unsettled disputes over health care, immigration and other issues fell by the wayside for lawmakers to address next year. The 20-year-old program cost about $15.6 billion in fiscal 2016, funded nearly entirely by the federal government. The 17,000 youths in CT would have to find another - more expensive - way to find health insurance if the program vaporizes. Connecticut, meanwhile, said it will discontinue its HUSKY B program on January 31.

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