Ohio Has Back-Up Plan For Federally Funded Children's Insurance Program

Monkey Business Images  SHUTTERSTOCK

Monkey Business Images SHUTTERSTOCK

While CHIP is federally funded, it is enacted on a state level, making it hard to track exactly how many children could lose coverage if Congress chooses to not renew funding.

For the past 20 years, CHIP has had bipartisan support, but this year Congress missed a September 30th deadline to extend funding for CHIP. CHIP provides health insurance to approximately 9 million children whose working families can not afford insurance.

Almost a dozen states are preparing to join Colorado in alerting enrollees in their kids' health program that CHIP funding is on the verge of running out.

"Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell would rather worry about tax cuts for the rich...that's way more important, Mr. President, than taking care of 209,000 children in OH", said Brown.

If Congress has not taken action by December 8th, Virginia officials will have to start notifying families that they will soon no longer have health insurance.

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The House passed a CHIP funding bill earlier this month, but it includes measures to finance the program by cutting other health spending that are unacceptable to Democrats in the Senate (recall that Senate Democrats retain some power because of the filibuster). For now, there is no plan in place for the House or the Senate to vote on a bill, leaving millions of kids at risk of losing coverage in just a few short months.

Republicans say they want to reauthorize the program too.

Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota, said there is a reason CHIP hasn't moved forward.

Rounds said time on the Senate floor is limited, but Brown argued children should take priority over tax reform.

Honest question: Why can't Congress get its act together?

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