Published: Fri, December 15, 2017
People | By Neil Grant

Political tensions ramp up on CHIP as hospitals urgently call for funding

Political tensions ramp up on CHIP as hospitals urgently call for funding

A stopgap measure created to avoid a government shutdown includes a provision that will provide the Children's Health Insurance Program with temporary funding for two weeks. A simple adjustment in the tax package could pay for CHIP.

Each state runs the program separately, so they will run out of money at different times.

She said if Congress doesn't pass a bill, the CHIP program plans to send notifications to families and providers by early January.

Because of this, he said, New Mexico can not disenroll children, an option he acknowledged New Mexico likely wouldn't consider even if it were possible.

Congress should skip the theatrics and find a path to reauthorize CHIP funding. Other states expect to run out of funds much sooner.

He told the panel the state can probably fund the program through the end of June, which is also the end of the fiscal year. Those families are depending on Congress to do the right thing. About half of the children in IL who now benefit from the program would still likely be covered by Medicaid even if the state ran out of funding, according to the state. "However, because Congress has not acted yet, we need to let you know that there is a chance the FAMIS programs may have to shut down". When formulating their 2018 budgets, most of the states had assumed that the federal government would keep the program funded.

"This is another opportunity for us to strengthen and provide certainty that a measure will be in place that when they provide care to children of Medicaid families, they will be reimbursed". Don't believe me? Look at the bill Glenn voted for and applauded, H.R. 3922, which does just that.

Since then, states have been burning through the cash that remains in their CHIP accounts, and parents, doctors and state officials are wondering if Congress will save what has traditionally been a very popular program, with bipartisan support. "As a nurse, I spend every day taking care of other people's family members".

Lawmakers and staffers in Congress say CHIP funding will likely be included in an end-of-year spending bill.

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said "Republicans have held CHIP reauthorization hostage by insisting on cutting essential public health programs and kicking almost 700,000 Americans off of their health care plans to pay for CHIP's extension". He cosponsors a bill that would reauthorize the program for five years. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that it will ultimately be reauthorized, but for families who rely on the coverage, the stopgap temporary solutions have caused heartburn and Democrats have complained that Republicans want to focus on tax reform first. "This is unacceptable. We must do better than this".

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