Doug Jones cosponsors bill to renew CHIP funding

14 January, 2018, 00:16 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • Michael Conroy  AP

Why is this? One researcher claims that it probably has a lot to do with the United States' chaotic health care system, which frankly, isn't so surprising considering Congress isn't funding kids' health insurance.

That may have gotten easier with a January 5 estimate showing that a Senate bill to extend CHIP would increase deficits by $800 million over 10 years, far lower than the previous projection of more than $8 billion.

The families enrolled in CHIP are working families, said Joshua Austin, program manager for strategic initiatives for the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center. That bill passed 242-174 largely on party lines as Democrats objected to funding offsets, including "cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, Medicare means testing for wealthier seniors, changes to Medicaid third party liability and changes to the grace period for Affordable Care Act plans", according to Boston Children's Hospital.

Last month's congressional funding Band-Aid to keep the federal government in business included $2.85 billion in stopgap money for the Children's Health Insurance Program. "It's going to happen", said U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), former chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

"If we go to six years, it may have no cost", Walden said. A second analysis, released publicly on Thursday, projects $6 billion in savings if Congress funds the program for 10 years.

Had that accident happened this year, though, Natali, 50, of Aliquippa, Pa., might be scrambling.

Before Congress acted last month, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, which advises Congress, had projected that Arizona, the District of Columbia, Minnesota and North Carolina would exhaust CHIP funding by December 31.

Dr. Todd Wolynn, a Pittsburgh pediatrician, said families are reacting with "fear and disbelief" to CHIP's uncertain future.

"These families don't know if the rug is being pulled out from them at any time", he said.

Since 1997, CHIP has provided healthcare to millions of Americans and helped to drastically reduce the uninsured rate of children.

There is no reason I can see that we shouldn't be able to agree that protecting health care for 9 million children across the country is an absolute top priority. Some states, including Minnesota, are using state dollars to fund the program.

Williams said in her e-mail that the $135 million now won't be immediately needed because of the December spending bill. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



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