Extension gives Mass. CHIP funding through March

13 January, 2018, 16:49 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Texas Sen. John Cornyn confident Congress will pass CHIP funding

If Congress doesn't act on CHIP this month, programs in 24 states could soon be facing significant shortfalls, according to a new report.

Extending CHIP for 10 years would save a total of $6 billion, CBO staffers said.

Before Congress acted last month, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, which advises Congress, had projected that Arizona, the District of Columbia, Minnesota and North Carolina would exhaust CHIP funding by December 31.

The Senate Finance Committee reached an agreement to extend the program for five years but did not unite around a plan on funding.

Congress allowed CHIP funding to expire September 30.

A press conference was held Thursday at the Kanawha City Health Center in Charleston where health care advocates discussed the benefits of CHIP and the importance of continuing to serve the almost 21,000 West Virginia children who depend on the coverage.

CHIP provides insurance for almost 9 million low-income children across the nation.

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"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.

Looking for news you can trust? "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. Without the mandate, more parents are likely to drop their insurance than CBO used to think". "We're going to have lower coverage for parents than we used to".

"This should be a no brainer", said Rep.

Dr. Todd Wolynn, a Pittsburgh pediatrician, said families are reacting with "fear and disbelief" to CHIP's uncertain future. After bitter partisan wrangling over how to pay for the authorization has held CHIP hostage for months. Florida, California and Texas officials said they have enough CHIP funding to last through March.

The families enrolled in CHIP are working families, said Joshua Austin, program manager for strategic initiatives for the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center.

"This uncertainty and the ongoing inaction by Congress increases the likelihood that states will take action to prepare families for the worst".

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