Doug Jones cosponsors bill to renew CHIP funding

Doug Jones cosponsors bill to renew CHIP funding

Each state administers its own version of CHIP, the program through which a federal match provides health insurance for children and pregnant women who earn too much to qualify for Medicare but who can not afford health insurance.

Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families (CCF) predicted in a report this month that 11 states would run out of CHIP funding before the end of February if Congress doesn't approve a long-term solution.

"I just can't believe we're in this situation of stop and start of what we need to do if we don't receive additional funds from CMS to continue the CHIP program here in DE".

The short-term federal budget runs through Friday, Jan. 19, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published preliminary information indicating MA would receive $119.7 million in CHIP funding as part of the funding extension.

The months-long failure on Capitol Hill to pass a long-term extension to CHIP, which provides health coverage to 9 million lower-income children, portends serious health consequences for many of them.

A new email from the Congressional Budget Office to lawmakers obtained by TPM notes, however, that renewing the program could actually save the federal government money. Funding for the program in MA in now expected to run out by April.

In December, Congress passed short-term funding for the program - injecting it with $3 billion through March 2018. Ed Markey tweeted on Wednesday.

According to the CBO, by removing the individual insurance mandate put in place by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the cost of buying coverage in insurance marketplaces will increase. Most states can not afford to make up the difference and will have to freeze enrollment or terminate coverage when their federal funding runs out. By March 1, the CCF says that at least 1.7 million people could lose coverage.

Rep. Steve Womack believes it's important to make sure CHIP is on "proper fiscal footing for an extended period of time".

On Dec. 28, Congressman Joe Kennedy sent out a fundraising email heralding the recent birth of his son, and contrasting his family's happiness with the "panic and fear" that others were experiencing amid uncertainty over CHIP funding.

Officials at Nemours/A.I. Dupont Hospital for Children said the hospital saw about 6,000 children on CHIP in the a year ago for issues ranging from asthma to terminal illnesses, and many of them have special health care needs.

So far, the debate has centered on a five-year extension of CHIP's budget. (It's a five-year funding bill.) But no matter. "I have every reason to believe it's going to happen before Friday". "Funding is still set to run out as early as January 19 in some states".

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