Democrats push to renew Children's Health Insurance Program

More than a million lower-income children are at risk of losing their health insurance next year if Congress doesn't act soon. Federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program ran out at the end of September 2017. This is a graphic

Democrats push to renew Children's Health Insurance Program

Congress let the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) lapse September 30, and Republicans and Democrats haven't agreed on how to pay for a five-year extension - even though both sides agree it's needed.

CHIP helps provide insurance to families to stop them from falling through the cracks, putting coverage within reach for kids and teens who are not eligible for or enrolled in medical assistance, yet can't afford commercial insurance.

Scott's press office has said the Republican governor is in favor of extending the popular children's health insurance program, but Scott has not come out strongly to call on Congress to act.

Congress owes it to our kids to swiftly and immediately fully fund CHIP before they head home for the holidays. Thirty-one states are in jeopardy of seeing the funding vanish sooner than expected, according to the report.

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Neighboring Alabama is freezing enrollment on January 1 and then will begin to disenroll families now in the program at the start of February.

I would like to quote what Sen Hatch (R-Utah) said in 1997 when Co-sponsoring the original program with Sen Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) saying "as a nation, as a society, we have a moral responsibility" to provide coverage for the most vulnerable children.

Kelly Haight, spokeswoman for North Carolina's health department, said the state's 220,000 children receiving assistance under the program "will not experience any interruption in benefits at this time" because the state had enough money for the beginning of 2018.

Udow-Phillips says MI could withstand this lapse in funding longer than some other states. There are no rules, federal or state requiring notice, but states do have to cut off enrollment once dollars run out. The 17,000 youths in CT would have to find another - more expensive - way to find health insurance if the program vaporizes. CHIP covers dental and eye care, prescription drugs, mental health care and pre-existing conditions.

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The Senate Finance Committee easily approved its own five-year measure in October, but that bill lacked offsetting savings to pay for the extra money.

Other Democrats say restored CHIP funding would be another Christmas gift for the 100,000 Tennessee kids.

Instead, the short-term bill includes $2.9 billion for states to use for children's health plus authority for federal officials to continue distributing unspent program money to states running short.

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