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Democrats push to renew Children's Health Insurance Program

22 December 2017

Democrats and Republicans agree that finances for the Children's Health Insurance Program should be renewed for five years, but they've clashed over how to pay for it. "There will be a broader authorization of CHIP in the new year".

States have been able to spend leftover CHIP money from previous years, and that has kept Connecticut's HUSKY B program running since funding ran out at the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30. Our funds are now being shared with states like Arizona and Utah, where funding has already run out and where families are receiving mailed notices letting them know their children may lose health coverage. As Congress has broken repeated promises to deal with the issue, she said they may now have to tell the families of 100,000 children their health coverage could end in a few weeks.

Mallory McManus, a spokeswoman for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, said the state was "closely monitoring" to see if Congress will restore the money. According to the nonprofit health research organization the Kaiser Family Foundation, CHIP has helped cut the share of uninsured USA children from 14 percent to five percent over two decades. More than 100,000 low-income children, young adults, and pregnant women in MI alone could lose their coverage.

I can not imagine the hardships the concerned parents are going through thinking about their Children's health situation and not knowing, if the program would continue. Less than 10 percent would qualify for Medicaid, she says, and many families would find subsidized coverage for children in the Affordable Care Act's online marketplaces too costly because it often comes with higher premiums, copayments and deductibles. It now has enough money to keep operating through January. Most Democrats voted no, saying they opposed plans to finance the extension in part by cutting a public health program created under President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law. Enrolled families pay an average premium of about $127 a year.

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But another 3.7 million kids live in states that can simply terminate the policies, and 1.2 million of them could become uninsured if they can't afford alternate coverage, according to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission.

The House approved GOP legislation in November extending the health insurance program's federal money for five years. Within a few months, all 9 million CHIP-covered kids across the USA will be gone.

But, Udow-Phillips says, "they could do it if they wanted to".

Democrats push to renew Children's Health Insurance Program