The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a program that has managed to gain (mostly) bipartisan support, as it provides low-cost healthcare to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid; but its days may be numbered. The funding for CHIP ended on September 30th, 2017…and unfortunately, Congress has not yet reauthorized it.
What does this mean, exactly?
It means that state lawmakers and Congress must act fast in order to keep these children covered. The Democratic party has taken even further initiative, urging Republicans to make a determination before the holidays – aka – before health insurance for low-income families runs out.
Legislators missed the September 30th renewal date due to other conflicting ideologies surrounding healthcare, and the Affordable Care Act. This oversight has the potential to cease coverage for nearly 9 million children across the nation. A Georgetown University report states that 1.9 million of these children could lose coverage by January if legislators delay their decision any further.
“Congress must get CHIP done before they leave for the holidays. The policy for a five-year CHIP extension has had bipartisan support for months now, so there are no more excuses for kicking this can down the road any further,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University research center. “Families need the peace of mind that their child’s coverage will not disappear as the new year begins.”
Currently, the federal government is scheduled to shut down on Friday to facilitate Republican decision on the matter. The GOP has teased at short-term solutions, but it is predicted these will only last through the first half of January.
Is this the end of CHIP? Or will it be reauthorized?