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Doug Jones cosponsors bill to renew CHIP funding
13 January 2018, 02:13 | Lena Norman
"If they don't receive that, then children who may have diabetes or other major pre-existing conditions - their lives are at risk", said Brad Heflin with the Alliance for Health Care Security. When funding for CHIP is reduced under current law, some parents would try to keep coverage for their children and enroll them in a family policy through the marketplaces.
Even more worrying, after partisan squabbles allowed the program to lapse September 30, is that "it's unclear how long [that funding] will actually allow all states to continue operating their CHIP programs", warns the National Academy for State Health Policy.
A new email from the Congressional Budget Office to lawmakers obtained by TPM notes, however, that renewing the program could actually save the federal government money.
A short-term government funding bill that passed at the end of the year included a provision providing $2.85 billion for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), putting off a larger budget debate that could include immigration and border security. The delay in reauthorizing CHIP has confused children's health advocates because both parties have supported CHIP since its creation in 1997. Orrin Hatch, who heads the Senate's Finance Committee, CBO Director Keith Hall said that a five-year extension of CHIP would cost the government $800 million over a 10-year period. It works to safeguard the health of children, and long has enjoyed bipartisan support. "We're going to have lower coverage for parents than we used to". Every Child Matters, a non-partisan non-profit, urged the public to call on their elected representatives to "act immediately on a 5-year CHIP reauthorization".
When Marina Natali's younger son broke his arm ice-skating in 2017, she didn't have to worry about paying for so much as a doctor's visit: CHIP footed all the medical bills.
Had that accident happened this year, though, Natali, 50, of Aliquippa, Pa., might be scrambling.
"These are kids", Walker said. Together, Medicaid and CHIP cover about 45 percent of all children in the state. The group practice hasn't changed any scheduling for CHIP patients, but he said "families are terrified" about the coverage disappearing. The health of 9 million American children shouldn't be compromised to put more money in the pockets of billionaires.
Ariel Haughton of Pittsburgh said she's upset her federal lawmakers have left CHIP in flux for her two children and millions of kids around the country.
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