Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

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

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

Rep. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, asked bill sponsor Nicholas Duran, D-Miami, if the group's progress would be hindered if Congress doesn't fund the CHIP program.

The program known as CHIP was passed in the 1990s to offer health insurance to children in low- and middle-income families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

CHIP's authorization for federal funding expired September 30, 2017. Now, numerous 9 million children enrolled in the program, as well as pregnant mothers and babies born over the next while risk being without health insurance coverage as CHIP funding runs out.

"The new CBO score is great news because a major sticking point has been how to pay for CHIP", Tricia Brooks, a healthcare policy expert and former CHIP director for New Hampshire, told Business Insider.

All five members of West Virginia's congressional delegation have said they support CHIP funding. The CHIP benefits allow him to continue his work as a civil rights attorney, providing free representation for people with disabilities. The reason is the repeal of the individual mandate in the tax bill means adults will exit the insurance marketplace but enroll their children in CHIP.

The Senate Finance Committee reached an agreement to extend the program for five years but didn't unite on a funding plan.

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"It's nonsensical and it's frustrating and it's ridiculous, honestly", said Brown, vice chair of the National Governors Association Health and Human Services Committee. And since the Republican tax bill makes Obamacare more and more expensive over time, it makes CHIP more and more cost-effective over time.

Though a short-term measure will keep it going until March, a doctor that spoke with FOX19 NOW says if action isn't taken soon families in the Tri-State will be impacted.

Child health-care advocates have long complained that the KidCare program is not user-friendly because of the number of agencies involved, including the Department of Children and Families, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health and the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation. "Meanwhile, Colorado and CT families received letters informing them that their children may soon lose CHIP coverage".

Federal funding for CHIP originally ran out October 1. So, if Congress doesn't fully fund CHIP, Ohio's percentage share of CHIP costs would rise steeply.

"The short term patch that lawmakers included in an end-of-year funding deal only provides momentary relief", the organization wrote. Another 25 states will run out of CHIP money in the first three months of 2018.

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