Children's health care funding secure until spring

  • Children's health care funding secure until spring

Children's health care funding secure until spring

The Children's Health Insurance Program provides low-priced insurance to 9 million children, including 18,000 in Maine.

Monday, on the nation's 88th Child Health Day, Congress is reflecting on its failure to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program, which technically expired Friday amid House attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

CHIP allotted $25.5 billion in coverage nationwide from 2015 to 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, insuring children who do not qualify for Medicaid but in families that can not afford private insurance. Besides children, it covers 370,000 pregnant women a year. Together, Medicaid and CHIP cover about 45 percent of all children in the state.

In a bill summary, House Republicans said some states could run out of money as soon as November.

CHIP was established in the 1990s.

Through their callous oversight, Congressional Republicans already allowed CHIP to expire.

They could eventually, but not immediately.

"We have not sent out any notices (to participating families)", Caldwell said. Hatch who co-sponsored legislation that created the CHIP program in 1997, was visibly surprised by the news and urged Toomey to again propose his amendment on the Senate floor. In 11 poorer states, the federal government picks up the full cost.

"To make sure kids are fed, or kids have access to the health care they need, parents will do without things", Weaver said, "They'll do without food to make sure their children have [what they need]". However, according to a state human services spokeswoman, coverage for Pennsylvania's children should be secure until February 2018.

Most states are doing little in response to Congress missing the deadline, except reaching into their unspent federal funds. But, so far, it's continuing business as usual.

Officials in the health care field in West Virginia say CHIP is vital to families. "Still, Congress needs to reauthorize this program quickly, and I am hopeful we will have a bill in front of us for a vote soon". In 2016, more than 8.9 million American children were enrolled in CHIP, according to a recent Medicaid-sponsored report.

Members of the two congressional committees overseeing the program, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, are now negotiating a deal on CHIP. They have always done so in the past and the only difference this time is that Congress has an even more compelling reason to quickly rectify their misdeeds.

Democrat Bennet, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Republican Gardner cosponsored the bipartisan legislation to ensure stability for vulnerable children. Though CHIP in general is popular, there are details enough in the reauthorization to trip up this Congress. About 340,000 Texan children ineligible for Medicaid are covered under CHIP, and another 249,000 Texan children on Medicaid benefit from CHIP's 92 percent matching rate.

And Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, was unimpressed by arguments that Arizona has been the only state without a CHIP program.

Hatch and Wyden did not provide any details on how they would pay for the CHIP extension. The Energy and Commerce Committee wants to tie CHIP's approval to hurricane disaster relief to Puerto Rico.

Wicker is a cosponsor of bipartisan Senate bill that would reauthorize funding for community health centers for the next five years.

According to the news release from the governor's office, Congress failed to act on extending the program before the September 30 deadline. States have broad discretion in setting their income eligibility standards, and eligibility varies across states. In addition to Minnesota, several other states are expected to start on November 1 to send families notice that the program will end.

If CHIP is not funded, American families' health is at risk.

Caldwell oversees the ADPH All Kids which is part of CHIP.