Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Funding CHIP for 10 years would actually save $6 billion: CBO

Funding CHIP for 10 years would actually save $6 billion: CBO

Even more worrying, after partisan squabbles allowed the program to lapse September 30, is that "it's unclear how long [that funding] will actually allow all states to continue operating their CHIP programs", warns the National Academy for State Health Policy. An analysis by the CBO last week found that a five-year CHIP extension would cost $800 million, substantially less than previous estimates.

Funding CHIP is cheaper than moving the covered children to other coverage options, including Medicaid and through subsidized plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to the CBO.

Rep. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee, asked bill sponsor Nicholas Duran, D-Miami, if the group's progress would be hindered if Congress doesn't fund the CHIP program. John Cornyn of Texas, who is part of the Senate leadership, and Rep. Greg Walden of OR, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee - told reporters Wednesday that they think an agreement is close. Three months is unacceptable; we need to create stability and reliability for our children by reauthorizing this program for years to come.

If that accident happened later this year, though, Natali, 50, of Aliquippa, Pa., might be scrambling. "I have said from day one that my first priority when I arrived in Washington would be to protect the 150,000 Alabama children - and the nine million more across the nation - who depend on CHIP for their healthcare". Some states, including Minnesota, are using state dollars to fund the program.

Dr. Todd Wolynn, a Pittsburgh pediatrician, said families are reacting with "fear and disbelief" to CHIP's uncertain future. "However, due to a number of variables relating to state expenditure rates and reporting, we are unable to say with certainty whether there is enough funding for every state to continue its CHIP program through March 31, 2018". Do the right thing and reauthorize CHIP today.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Pennsylvania officials notified CHIP providers in late December - who then informed enrollees - that the state would have to end the program in March unless Congress acts.

Essentially, killing the mandate dramatically raises premiums in Obamacare's individual market, which is where millions of low-income families now enrolled in CHIP would have to turn were the program to disappear. "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.

"It really seems to be the impact of our fragmented health care system", said Ashish Thakar, the study's lead author.

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