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14 January 2018, 12:13 | Louis Holland
By now perhaps you've heard that Republicans in Congress are denying health care to poor children, because what else would those robber barons do?
He's anxious Congress will fail to renew funding soon for a health program that pays for the care of millions of children across the country. It's unclear why the pay-fors would stay in play now that the program extension saves the government money, but there is disagreement over funding CHIP for six years instead of 10 years.
The extension could be attached to a short-term funding bill that must pass before January 19. The program is for children from families who can't afford health insurance but whose income disqualifies them from Medicaid. But it's unclear whether CHIP will be resolved by then or at a later point. 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".
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Last month's temporary budget fix, H.R. 1370, also provided $550 million for community health centers that serve more than 25 million, many in struggling communities - enough to last only through March 31.
Cornyn has previously promised funding for CHIP was imminent. The internal estimate comes just a few days after the agency reported publicly that it had slashed its estimate of how much it would cost the government to renew CHIP for five years-from $8 billion to around $800 million-following Republicans' move to repeal the individual mandate as part of a tax overhaul.
"This uncertainty and the ongoing inaction by Congress increases the likelihood that states will take action to prepare families for the worst".
The months-long failure on Capitol Hill to pass a long-term extension to CHIP that provides health coverage to 9 million lower-income children portends serious health consequences, with disruption in ongoing treatments.
Federal funding for CHIP originally ran out October 1.
Extending CHIP for 10 years would save a total of $6 billion, CBO staffers said. The group practice hasn't changed any scheduling for CHIP patients, but he said "families are terrified" about the program having to be terminated. As it happens, that estimate only included seven years of funding, for reasons I couldn't quite figure out. Another 25 states will run out of CHIP money in the first three months of 2018.
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