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Takeaways From Congress' Failure To Extend Funding For Children's Coverage


However, Nebraska Medicaid "fully expects (CHIP) to be reauthorized by the U.S. Congress", according to a statement forwarded by Julie Naughton, public information officer for the Medicaid, long-term care, developmental disabilities and behavioral health programs in Nebraska.

CHIP is an insurance program established to ensure that lower income families could access quality health care services for their children - even if their own household income wasn't quite low enough for the family itself to enroll in Medicaid. It covers everything from dental and eye care to immunizations to emergency visits and more.

"If making sure that every child in America has access to health care, if that is not a priority, what is?" asked Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of IL. It was influential in letting down the percentage of children who were not insured from almost 14 percent when it started to 4.5 percent in 2015.

Committees in the U.S. House and Senate will meet Wednesday to discuss reauthorizing CHIP.

Congress's failure to pass CHIP funding may have been partly or largely due the failed effort by Senate Republican leaders in the last weeks of September to pass a last-ditch bill that would have repealed and replaced key parts of the Affordable Care Act.

"If congress has not acted we will have to start notifying families that we will likely have to start disenrolling children", said Caldwell. The law is credited with decreasing the percentage of children without insurance from 14 percent in 1997 to 4.5 percent in 2015.

65,000 low income children in Virginia could get cut off from their healthcare if Congress doesn't act soon. The program is administered by the states, and they generally have leftover funds from previous years. I hope they will make progress and that we can send a bill to the President's desk very soon. Members of Congress had discussed voting to renew the program but did not do so in time for the new fiscal year.

For the last 20 years, CHIP has provided comprehensive coverage to youth whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. "Tens of thousands of Montana families rely on the Children's Health Insurance Program for their children to have health coverage", he said.

Nationally, CHIP serves 9 million children. When that date passed without action from either the Senate or the House, the funding expired.

In the interim, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid reportedly have enough unspent dollars from the fiscal year just ending to hold KidsCare through this month and into November, she said. Even rank-and-file Republicans were unsure of why, a GOP Congressional aide told the Tribune. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) were able to hammer out an agreement that would've extended CHIP funding for five years while slowly winding down the ObamaCare increase.

Many CHIP recipients make use of smaller community health centers such as Valley Health Systems, based in Huntington, which treats 442 patients covered through CHIP. That may not be true in every state - Minnesota officials report that their funding situation is already dire, and they aren't alone - and there's no reason for confidence that Congress will actually get its act together in time.

"We don't intend to let them expire", he said.

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