12 governors call on Congress to reauthorize CHIP

12 governors call on Congress to reauthorize CHIP

Tuesday morning, the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) mailed letters to 68,495 Virginia children and 1,114 pregnant women informing them their children stand to lose health coverage on January 31 if Congress fails to reauthorize funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Ore., joined the American Academy of Pediatricians in a Call to Action Day: the hospital's pediatric residents posted a photo holding signs in support of CHIP and a tweet warning of the millions of kids who will lose their access to healthcare. That could be a dire situation for some families. The kicker is that funding for CHIP has been approved, but is wrapped up in a House spending bill that is unlikely to pass the Senate. Casey says that's unacceptable, especially as Republicans rush to pass their tax reform bill.

Depending on how they have setup their CHIP programs, states plan to terminate or reduce coverage, cap enrollment or transition children to Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. When formulating their 2018 budgets, most of the states had assumed that the federal government would keep the program funded. "It's on the back burner while they work out the new tax plans".

Wietecha estimates the cost at around $15 billion for a five-year extension of CHIP. Even after accounting for economic growth, the tax bill passed by the Senate, which is now being reviewed for final passage by both chambers, is projected to cost $1 trillion by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

"CHIP is probably one of the most successful government programs we've enacted in the last couple of decades", says Timothy McBride, a professor of health economics at Washington University in St. Louis and chairman of that state's Medicaid oversight committee, which also oversees CHIP.

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Reed says he is confident the House and Senate will reach an agreement to fund the program.

"We believe covering children and pregnant women without disruption is one thing we can all agree on", the governors wrote.

MSNBC host and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough conflated Hatch's description of those who "won't lift a finger" and rely on welfare with his comments about CHIP beneficiaries on Twitter.

"Whether you are a democrat, republican, or independent, children are children", White said. Orrin Hatch said recently. "States are suffering. Children and families are getting these notices". "We had a surplus of the grant that covers CHIP left over from the previous year".

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