Thousands of Children in Virginia Could Lose Health Insurance by January

Oct 05, 2017, 00:18
Thousands of Children in Virginia Could Lose Health Insurance by January

But there are plenty of other smaller - but no less important - budgets Congress approves every day - including the Children's Health Insurance Program, more commonly known as CHIP.

Heather O'Laughlin: That would include routine checkups, preventative care, some dental and vision coverage, and also coverage for serious health conditions.

Not reauthorizing CHIP quickly could especially be an issue for the three states (Arizona, Minnesota and North Carolina) and the District of Columbia, which are expected to run out of CHIP money by the end of the year.

"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. The federal government sends CHIP money to states annually, based on previous spending of the funds and populations factors. As of 2015, that percentage had dropped to 4.5 percent.

Members of the two congressional committees overseeing the program, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, are now negotiating a deal on CHIP.

If Congress does not renew federal funding, states will be forced to decide whether to terminate their CHIP segments or proceed with significantly reduced budgets.

Thousands of IL children are in risk of losing health insurance after congress let the Children's Health Insurance Program expire over the weekend. Though CHIP in general is popular, there are details enough in the reauthorization to trip up this Congress.

Thousands of Louisiana children could end up without insurance. We are hopeful that Congress will act, and hopefully act quickly to restore the program's funding. Members of Congress had discussed voting to renew the program but did not do so in time for the new fiscal year.

The House bill would increase Medicare premiums on high-earning people, make it harder for some lottery winners to qualify for Medicaid and cut some federal payments to hospitals to pay for extending the children's health program.

"Working with my colleagues in both the Senate and House, we will push to advance this initiative and ensure the continued healthcare coverage for American children", Hatch said in the same statement. And Minnesota would face a $10 million federal penalty if it has to tap into its unspent federal allotment for 2017.

By March 2018, it said, CHIP funds will be exhausted in 27 additional states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

The law does allow unspent funds from previous years to carry forward, so states now are relying on those accounts.

Alker noted that the overall policy goal in that bill "very closely mirrors the bipartisan agreement within the Senate" on CHIP funding. Even if it passed the chamber, Senate Republicans could balk at the pay for proposals.

Hilda Shirk, president and CEO of SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, said federal funding for other safety net programs including community health centers such as SouthEast also expired Saturday.

"What is particularly ridiculous and galling is that CHIP reauthorization has been on folks' radar for a long time now, it has bipartisan support, and it just doesn't get done", says Bharti Wahi, executive director of the Children's Defense Fund.

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