|House to Vote on CHIP Funding |
According to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the House will take up legislation this week to extend federal funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Funding for the program, which provides health coverage for nearly 9 million children around the country, expired on September 30, 2017. CHIP covers children in working families who are not eligible for Medicaid and who lack access to affordable private coverage. While the program has received bipartisan support for the last 20 years, it was threatened this year by partisan disputes over the methods used to pay for the program.
Republicans have proposed using offsets to pay for continued funding, such as a hike on Medicare premiums for those making over $500,000 and disenrollment for Medicaid recipients who win lottery jackpots of at least $80,000. Arizona, Minnesota, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia are at risk of funding lapses this quarter, while other states have reported enough saved funds to continue the program at least until 2018. POSNA is leading AAOS grassroots efforts in support of CHIP funding.
“CHIP is a bipartisan success story,” write POSNA and AAOS in a recent letter. “The program was created in 1997 and has been championed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle since its very beginning. Standing on the shoulders of Medicaid to cover children in working families who are not eligible for Medicaid and lack access to affordable private coverage, nearly 9 million children across the country are enrolled in CHIP, which is designed around what children need. It offers benefits that are age-appropriate and which may not be covered by a family's employer-sponsored insurance. Additionally, CHIP plans include robust networks of pediatricians, pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists, and children's hospitals, which are especially critical for children with special health care needs.”
“The reason why we're bringing it up next week is not because next week was the date we wanted to. We wanted to get this done long ago, but the reason why we're doing it next week is because Minnesota's about to run out of money,” McCarthy said on the floor.
To write your legislator on the importance this issue, click here.