We've been dismayed and infuriated, as have parents across the nation, that Congress hasn't been able to continue funding the Children's Health Insurance Program despite broad bipartisan agreement that it should be done, and months ago. CHIP provides health coverage for children under 18 whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but still don't make enough to afford private insurance, or aren't covered through employers.
Not every state can simply end coverage for children.
Congress owes it to our kids to swiftly and immediately fully fund CHIP before they head home for the holidays.
It remained uncertain how those states and others would react to the latest infusion of federal money. Thirty-one states are in jeopardy of seeing the funding vanish sooner than expected, according to the report.
I can not imagine the hardships the concerned parents are going through thinking about their Children's health situation and not knowing, if the program would continue.
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The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Greg Walden of OR, said last week that the CHIP extension will be included in the short-term government funding bill to be considered by lawmakers later this week.
Cathy Caldwell, director of Alabama's CHIP program, said closing the program would be devastating for many families.
Federal taxpayers paid about $16 billion for the program past year, with states adding a smaller share, according to government figures. The 17,000 youths in CT would have to find another - more expensive - way to find health insurance if the program vaporizes. It is exactly how to pay for the $15.6 billion a year program where the disagreement remains.
The Senate Finance Committee easily approved its own five-year measure in October, but that bill lacked offsetting savings to pay for the extra money. But the federal government announced on December 15 they'd fork over $136 million to continue funding CHIP in Texas until February, while Congress tries to figure out a long-term solution.
Income eligibility levels for CHIP vary widely among states, though most set thresholds at or below 200 percent of the poverty level, about $49,000 for a family of four. Connecticut, meanwhile, said it will discontinue its HUSKY B program on January 31.