Health Care

Extending CHIP Would Actually Save Taxpayers Money: CBO

Extending CHIP Would Actually Save Taxpayers Money: CBO

If Congress doesn't act on CHIP this month, programs in 24 states could soon be facing significant shortfalls, according to a new report.

Congress has yet to approve funding for CHIP, or the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Beth Kidder, a deputy secretary for the Agency for Health Care Administration, told legislators that the short-term fix is expected to keep Florida's program running through the end of March. "Congress has a unique opportunity to protect and stabilize the health coverage for the 9 million children that receive care through CHIP while simultaneously reducing the federal deficit by $6 billion in this decade and an estimated $20 billion over two decades", says Bruce Lesley of the Washington-based advocacy group First Focus. But that is a drastic step, since the federal government pays on average almost 90 percent of CHIP costs. The House plan includes a controversial funding provision - opposed by Democrats - that takes millions of dollars from the Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund and increases Medicare premiums for some higher-earning beneficiaries.

Before Congress acted last month, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, which advises Congress, had projected that Arizona, the District of Columbia, Minnesota and North Carolina would exhaust CHIP funding by December 31. The CHIP benefits allow him to continue his work as a civil rights attorney, providing free representation for people with disabilities. Ed Markey tweeted on Wednesday.

Quake of 7.6 magnitude strikes off Central America: USGS
The quake rattled window in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa over 320 miles away and was also felt as far as Mexico. President Juan Orlando Hernandez tweeted that the emergency system had been activated and people should remain calm.

Cornyn has previously promised funding for CHIP was imminent. Keep in mind that the cost of just a five-year extension of funding, roughly $800 million, is less than 1 percent of all of the money the Republican-controlled Congress and the president gave away, primarily, to corporations and wealthy Americans through recently approved tax cuts. It would extend the Children's Health Insurance Program through 2022. And since the Republican tax bill makes Obamacare more and more expensive over time, it makes CHIP more and more cost-effective over time. Texas has enough funding to cover its costs until the end of March, but the looming deadline has many families anxious about their long-term health care needs.

The American Academy of Pediatrics will hold a conference call Friday to urge Congress to pass long-term funding for CHIP. "Meanwhile, Colorado and CT families received letters informing them that their children may soon lose CHIP coverage".

ALL Kids, the Alabama program funded through CHIP, warned late past year that it would have to stop enrolling children into the program on January 1 and may run out of funding by February 1. As it happens, that estimate only included seven years of funding, for reasons I couldn't quite figure out.


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