Extending CHIP for 10 years rather than 5 saves $6 billion, CBO

Extending CHIP for 10 years rather than 5 saves $6 billion, CBO

That's true even though the Children's Health Insurance Program technically expired on September 30 after Congress failed to renew funding.

"I think the fact that we are watching and sort of seeing what's happening up in Washington, D.C. with the CHIP program and the funding makes this task force even more important", Duran said. The Senate has not passed a CHIP bill.

"What we would like to do is pass at least a five-year reauthorization", Cornyn said.

The CBO said that if CHIP funding was extended for 10 years it would actually decrease the deficit by $6 billion. "I have every reason to believe it's going to happen before Friday". "They are looking at you and begging for their child's life", he said.

Before the latest cash infusion, several states sent letters to parents warning that the program was in jeopardy absent congressional action.

That may have gotten easier with a January 5 estimate showing that a Senate bill to extend CHIP would increase deficits by $800 million over 10 years, far lower than the previous projection of more than $8 billion. That is $7.4 billion less than the CBO's earlier projection announced in October.

Meanwhile, the almost $3 billion for CHIP that Congress passed in December could run out in just a few weeks. After bitter partisan wrangling over how to pay for the authorization has held CHIP hostage for months.

Sen. Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican who oversees the Senate health-care budget, said Wednesday that Florida is unlikely to have the money to keep the program intact without federal assistance.

"Extending funding for CHIP for 10 years yields net savings to the federal government because the federal costs of the alternatives to providing coverage through CHIP (primarily Medicaid, subsidized coverage in the marketplaces, and employment-based insurance) are larger than the costs of providing coverage through CHIP during that period", the nonpartisan budget agency writes. "Now, I hope that wouldn't be a problem at all, that they would just eliminate those things". Before the short-term funding patch, federal officials redistributed reserve funds to states to keep their programs running.

In his 35 years of practice, Patel, of San Antonio, has seen the lengths to which parents will go for their critically ill children. Children's healthcare advocates are cheering the news and pushing hard for the full 10 years.

Nationwide, CHIP provides health care coverage to 9 million low-to-moderate-income children and about 370,000 pregnant women, cleveland.com's Sabrina Eaton reports. "Congress should seize this opportunity, as it would be a win-win for children and both political parties". "We should stop the uncertainty and permanently extend CHIP".

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