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La Chip program is up for re-authorization

La Chip program is up for re-authorization”

CHIP funding pays for health care for two groups of children and teens in Alabama - about 81,100 on a program called All Kids and 75,200 children on Medicaid.

Federal support to insure around 9 million American children, including more than 48,000 in West Virginia, quietly expired at midnight Sunday as Congress failed to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Highland said that while some states will immediately run out of funding, Iowa will not. The 2019 General Fund already will be short $105 million in BP settlement money available in fiscal 2018, and court-ordered changes to the Alabama Department of Corrections' mental health services are expected to be costly.

"If making sure that every child in America has access to health care, if that is not a priority, what is?" asked Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of IL.

CHIP money also covers about 7,000 kids in Montana on Medicaid, in families earning up to 143 percent of the federal poverty level, or $35,000 a year for a family of four. Between 1997 (when the law was passed) and 2015, the rate of uninsured kids fell from 13.9 percent to 4.5 percent, according to a government report released earlier this year.

But that is unlikely, given that the Republican-controlled Legislature balked previous year at renewing the program even with no state dollars needed.

"I understand the benefits the Children's Health Insurance Program offers to many students in West Virginia", Capito said in a statement. South Plains Food Bank CEO David Weaver estimated the end of the program could affect up to 400,000 children living in Texas.

Patrick Peer, CEO of Community Health Center of Northeast Oklahoma in Afton, said he expects Congress to pass an extension, but that isn't the only reason he isn't rushing to finalize a contingency plan.

Until reauthorization is approved by Congress, Minnesota taxpayers will be paying more of the bill for CHIP.

"[Not reauthorizing CHIP] can set us back in the state not only in healthcare, but in many other areas", Wahi says. In 11 poorer states, the federal government picks up the full cost.

But congressional failure to extend the funding would do more than halt Florida's momentum toward expanding coverage; it would knock hundreds of thousands of children backward, leaving them without public- or private-sector insurance. Thirty-one will run out by March, according to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission. In fact, if funding is not soon restored, states will quickly drain what little money they have left for CHIP.

As far as the CHIP bill goes, the House and Senate versions are identical.

Records show an estimated 8.9 million children were enrolled in CHIP for the 2016 fiscal year. The answer, put simply, is the Republican Congress' obsession with killing ObamaCare. It mirrors the Senate Finance plan by extending funding for CHIP for five years and gradually phasing down the 23-percentage-point funding increase provided under Affordable Care Act over the next two years.

Brent Wilborn, director of public policy at the Oklahoma Primary Care Association, said most community health centers have enough funding to continue operating through the end of December, but uncertainty about their budgets could make it hard to plan. "Without that access to have health insurance for kids, kids will find it harder to get that access they need." said Carlson.



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