Congress tried addressing this in 2017, but Republican health care bills that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act failed after strong opposition from the health care industry. Sen. This is a travesty.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have said they are close to approving a long-term funding deal for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which could come as soon as next week, according to The Hill.
While members of Congress on both sides of the aisle insist that CHIP must be reauthorized, GOP leaders have yet to even schedule a vote, and the program has been stuck in limbo for months amid disagreements about how to pay for it.
Before Christmas, Congress allocated $2.85 billion to the program, saying that the money would take care of the children's needs until the end of March. But officials say some states could start running out of money as early as next week.
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CHIP was created in 1997 and has helped halve the percentage of children who are uninsured.
In theory, this drastic drop in the net cost should make it easier for Congress to reauthorize funding for the program, which has enjoyed bipartisan support since its inception in the 1990s. That policy is expected to make the premiums in the Obamacare marketplaces more expensive - which means the federal government would have to spend more money subsidizing those premiums for low- and middle-income enrollees. That's far short of the five-year $8 billion CHIP extension advocates had sought. But the program is in danger of becoming a casualty of Republican brinkmanship in Washington. "We can show our commitment to increasing access to treatment by reauthorizing the National Health Service Corps program, that expired in September". Orrin Hatch, who heads the Senate's Finance Committee, CBO Director Keith Hall said that a five-year extension of CHIP would cost the government $800 million over a 10-year period. The budget office updated its estimates after the adoption of the tax law. "That's the type of family that we're talking about - people that are out there working and just need a little assistance to get coverage for their children", he said.
Before the short-term funding was passed in late December, CHIP programs survived on the states' unspent funds and a $3 billion redistribution pool of CHIP dollars controlled by CMS. For some families, the program, which costs them nothing or very little, is essential. She can't afford private coverage for her two children on her dental hygienist pay. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), suggest that switching to a permanent or 10-year extension may side-step the debate about how to pay for the program altogether.