Friday, 19 January, 2018

Doug Jones cosponsors bill to renew CHIP funding

Capitol Lawmakers from both parties said they're nearing a deal on CHIP
Steve Townsend | 13 January, 2018, 02:10

Health Secretary Kara Odom Walker said Thursday that funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program in DE will last until the end of February, delaying the chance of 8,300 children losing their health insurance for another month.

Jones became the 24 co-sponsor of the bill, the Keep Kids' Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act of 2017.

CHIP covers health care for 8.9 million children in families that do not qualify for Medicaid but have trouble affording market-rate private insurance.

"I'm proud to announce that the first piece of legislation I'll co-sponsor will ensure a long-term funding solution for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)", Jones said in a statement Thursday.

In some states, children enrolled in CHIP would be protected by Medicaid provisions and the impact would instead be on the state budget, according to the report. If Congress doesn't reauthorize the financing, Louisiana would have to start paying the higher cost share to keep the program's services intact. "It is long past time to renew CHIP and I'm proud to join my colleagues who are fighting for the children who depend on it". But after Congress approved a short-term spending plan on December 21, ALL Kids withdrew those warnings for the time being.

The Congressional Budget Office produced a new cost estimate for extending the Children's Health Insurance Program, finding that a 10-year extension would produce net savings of $6 billion.

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That may have gotten easier with a January 5 estimate showing that a Senate bill to extend CHIP would increase deficits by $800 million over 10 years, far lower than the previous projection of more than $8 billion. His committee has jurisdiction over the health program's budget. Every Child Matters, a non-partisan non-profit, urged the public to call on their elected representatives to "act immediately on a 5-year CHIP reauthorization".

Eleven states are expected to run through their remaining federal funds before the end of February: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Washington State and Washington, DC. It works to safeguard the health of children, and long has enjoyed bipartisan support. But federal officials miscalculated. She can not afford private coverage for her two children on her dental hygienist pay. About 394,000 Texas children ineligible for Medicaid are covered under CHIP, and another 249,000 Texan children on Medicaid benefit from CHIP's 92 percent matching rate.

Dr. Todd Wolynn, a Pittsburgh pediatrician, said families are reacting with "fear and disbelief" to CHIP's uncertain future. The group practice hasn't changed any scheduling for CHIP patients, but he said "families are terrified" about the coverage disappearing.

In his 35 years of practice, Patel, of San Antonio, has seen the lengths to which parents will go for their critically ill children. "They might not have a family physician, or a clear support system".

Ariel Haughton of Pittsburgh said she's upset her federal lawmakers have left CHIP in flux for her two children and millions of kids around the country.

Keeping kids healthy should be a top priority, he said.

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