Congress Must Extend CHIP Funding

Lester Mason
October 12, 2017

Howard Zucker wrote to the Trump administration on Wednesday to warn that if Congress does not renew the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the coming weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo "will have no choice but to call" lawmakers back to Albany for a special session. The administrative burden and the incredible anxiety for families (especially those with children who have chronic conditions needing frequent care) created by congressional feet-dragging should not be discounted and requires urgent action.

"I$3 t is unlikely the Legislature can fill a $1 billion hole left by the federal government to continue to provide coverage to all the children now enrolled in CHIP", the letter said. Funding for CHIP, which covers over 8 million children, expires on September 30, 2017.

CHIP is crucial, as it helps to cover children who fall into a gap - their families make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but they also can not afford private health insurance.

The governor also said Congress's failure to renew the Health Centers Program by the deadline will mean a $138 million cut in funding for 650 health centers around the state. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) have released a draft of bipartisan legislative language to extend CHIP for five years.

According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost a dozen states will run out of federal CHIP funding by then end of the year, and 32 states are expected to run out by March 2018. CHIP has always received strong bipartisan support, and it's time to act to ensure the continuation of this vital program.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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