Legislators say they are close to CHIP deal

CHIP funding will run dry in several states by the end of January

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. Funding for the program in MA in now expected to run out by April.

In Ohio, covering the 200,000 children enrolled in CHIP costs about $45 million a month - a cost Ohio funds via Medicaid. "They are looking at you and begging for their child's life", he said. Ray Bignall, with Cincinnati Children's.

Before Congress passed the short-term funding fix in late December, CHIP programs survived on the states'unspent funds and a $3 billion pool of CHIP money controlled by CMS.

As for those cookies - those will be sent to the local offices of Steve Chabot and Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman. The downside: Federal reimbursement for Ohio Medicaid costs is 63 cents per dollar; CHIP reimbursement is 97 cents per dollar. Since its inception in 1997, it has received bipartisan support, but this year Republicans and Democrats have been unable to agree on healthcare legislation, among other issues. But that appears to have been a gross miscalculation, because the Trump administration said Friday that some states would start running out of money after January 19.

CHIP's funding expired 103 days ago, on September 30.

Child health-care advocates have long complained that the KidCare program is not user-friendly because of the number of agencies involved, including the Department of Children and Families, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health and the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation.

Walker, head of Delaware Health and Social Services, said she is in "complete disappointment and disgust" with how Congress has handled the re-authorization of CHIP.

"We need the leadership of our Congress to get with the program and to wake up to the needs of children", he said.

"If you think about a world with no CHIP, a lot of families would still want to have their kids covered, so they would look for private insurance in the individual market", he explained.

Dr. Todd Wolynn, a Pittsburgh pediatrician, said families are reacting with "fear and disbelief" to CHIP's uncertain future. "Meanwhile, Colorado and CT families received letters informing them that their children may soon lose CHIP coverage".

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. "We will have to decide between their health and spending the money on something else", she said.

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