In 2017, House Republicans insisted that they would reauthorize CHIP only if Democrats agreed to offset spending on the program with cuts to Medicare and a public-health program created by the Affordable Care Act.
The budget includes $26.7 million for a voluntary pilot program to send community health workers to visit struggling families. KidCare is the umbrella name given to four different children's health programs: the federal children's health insurance program commonly called CHIP; Medikids, which is the traditional Medicaid program for children; Children's Medical Services Network, which provides care to medically complex children, and the Florida Healthy Kids program.
"If the funding is not provided by the federal government, families who receive CHIP will begin to get rift letters and discouraging enrollments", Heflin explained.
The Senate Finance Committee reached an agreement to extend the program for five years but did not unite around a plan on funding.
CHIP, a federal-state matching program that serves almost nine million moderately low-income children, is among the urgent priorities that seem to have gotten lost amid congressional efforts to repeal Obamacare and revise the tax code. CBO says the alternatives are more expensive: "the federal costs of the alternatives to providing coverage through CHIP (primarily Medicaid, subsidized coverage in the marketplaces, and employment-based insurance) are larger than the costs of providing coverage through CHIP during that period". The bill was not taken up by the U.S. Senate.
CHIP isn't the only health care problem that needs a fix this year as costs continue to rise. By contrast, CHIP costs the federal government roughly $14.5 billion a year, or $145 billion over 10 years.
After Congress provided short-term funding, CT reopened enrollment in CHIP and indicated coverage would continue through February up until March 1, according to Kaiser.
Walker, head of Delaware Health and Social Services, said she is in "complete disappointment and disgust" with how Congress has handled the re-authorization of CHIP.
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. "Meanwhile, Colorado and CT families received letters informing them that their children may soon lose CHIP coverage".
"The short term patch that lawmakers included in an end-of-year funding deal only provides momentary relief", the organization wrote.
Alabama and Utah are among several states unsure how long their federal CHIP funding will last, according to interviews with state officials.
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