Extending CHIP Would Actually Save Taxpayers Money: CBO

Extending CHIP Would Actually Save Taxpayers Money: CBO

Funding the Children's Health Insurance Program for 10 years could actually save the government money, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a report published Thursday - a factoid that supporters of soon-to-expire program are sure to use as they lobby for its reauthorization.

Texas now has enough federal money to keep alive its health insurance program for more than 450,000 uninsured kids and pregnant women through the end of March, a state official said on Friday.

The CBO based its report on a Senate Bill to extend CHIP funding for five years.

Lawmakers in the House Energy and Commerce Committee previously fought over how to pay for CHIP, but Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., said the reduced cost estimate would eliminate many roadblocks.

Before Congress acted last month, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, which advises Congress, had projected that Arizona, the District of Columbia, Minnesota and North Carolina would exhaust CHIP funding by December 31. But officials say some states could start running out of money as early as next week.

Although hospitals, doctor groups and child health advocates have been sounding the alarm about CHIP for months, the Trump administration has kept quiet, saying only that it's up to Congress to renew the program.

Rep. Hill said he's aware of the "critical importance" of CHIP for children across both the United States and Arkansas.

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Had that accident happened this year, though, Natali, 50, of Aliquippa, Pa., might be scrambling.

"It's creating a lot of anxiety about not having insurance and the kids getting sick", she said. 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.

Walker doesn't believe CHIP will go away entirely, but she said the state needs to have a plan to figure out how to provide coverage with its current resources.

This appears to be the case even though Congress had been expected to maintain the program's operations until at least the end of March, according to federal health officials. "They might not have a family physician, or a clear support system".

"It's nonsensical and it's frustrating and it's ridiculous, honestly", said Brown, vice chair of the National Governors Association Health and Human Services Committee. They may not know the state-branded programs they use, such as BadgerCare Plus in Wisconsin, Healthy Kids in Florida and All Kids in Alabama, are part of the CHIP program.

If CHIP gets canceled by the state, she likely won't bring Javier, 2, for his two-year checkup if nothing seems wrong.

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