CHIP funding expected to pass next week

30, but states have had unspent money in the interim, and Congress.

"This is good news in the short term, but Congress needs to get moving on a clean, 5-year CHIP extension as soon as possible", said Anne Dunkelberg, associate director for the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, in an emailed statement. Florida, California and Texas officials said they have enough CHIP funding to last through March. House Energy and Commerce Chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said publicly on Thursday he wants six years as the committee's Ranking Democrat Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) griped about the so-called pay-fors that offset the cost of funding CHIP. the provisions in the previous GOP-led package targeted the grace period for Affordable Care Act enrollees as well as the ACA prevention fund.

Even more worrying, after partisan squabbles allowed the program to lapse September 30, is that "it's unclear how long [that funding] will actually allow all states to continue operating their CHIP programs", warns the National Academy for State Health Policy.

The program known as CHIP was passed in the 1990s to offer health insurance to children in low- and middle-income families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

The reason the cost goes down over time is that it's based on the savings from kids leaving Obamacare in favor of CHIP. "If they don't receive that, then children who may have diabetes or other major pre-existing conditions - their lives are at risk", said Brad Heflin with the Alliance for Health Care Security. "There, once you've covered your kids, it's basically free to cover yourself on the same policy, because of how the premium tax credits work".

Navsaria also worries that many parents will be surprised if their children are suddenly without coverage.

"This should be a no brainer", said Rep. After bitter partisan wrangling over how to pay for the authorization has held CHIP hostage for months. "We should stop the uncertainty and permanently extend CHIP". For Ohio's vulnerable children, that's an upside of sorts, since the program will continue even if CHIP money runs out.

The families enrolled in CHIP are working families, said Joshua Austin, program manager for strategic initiatives for the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center. "We expect to see states start to send out notices out to families that CHIP may expire or possibly order enrollment freezes by February 1st if Congress doesn't act".

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