Florida's Children's Health Insurance Program faces uncertainty

  • Florida's Children's Health Insurance Program faces uncertainty

Florida's Children's Health Insurance Program faces uncertainty

By now perhaps you've heard that Republicans in Congress are denying health care to poor children, because what else would those robber barons do?

However, funding for CHIP expired more than three months ago, and Congress has yet to approve long-term funding. By comparison, the tax overhaul passed in December is expected to add $1.8 trillion to the debt over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The program covers almost 9 million children and pregnant women across the country. But that is a drastic step, since the federal government pays on average almost 90 percent of CHIP costs.

"Americans are exhausted of waiting on their government to do the right thing - lives are depending on it. Let's end this waiting game and #FundCHIPNow", U.S. Sen.

A 2014 report by Health Affairs comparing Medicaid and CHIP coverage to employer-sponsored insurance, revealed that families enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP fared better in medical bill repayments than families with private insurance (10 percent versus 19 percent).

The Senate Finance Committee reached an agreement to extend the program for five years but didn't unite on a funding plan. You can't manage a health program like that. House Energy and Commerce Chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said publicly on Thursday he wants six years as the committee's Ranking Democrat Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) griped about the so-called pay-fors that offset the cost of funding CHIP. the provisions in the previous GOP-led package targeted the grace period for Affordable Care Act enrollees as well as the ACA prevention fund. And since the Republican tax bill makes Obamacare more and more expensive over time, it makes CHIP more and more cost-effective over time.

On Dec. 28, Congressman Joe Kennedy sent out a fundraising email heralding the recent birth of his son, and contrasting his family's happiness with the "panic and fear" that others were experiencing amid uncertainty over CHIP funding.

The months-long failure on Capitol Hill to pass a long-term extension to CHIP that provides health coverage to 9 million lower-income children portends serious health consequences, with disruption in ongoing treatments. The group practice hasn't changed any scheduling for CHIP patients, but he said "families are terrified" about the program having to be terminated.

Congressional leaders are working on a deal to extend the program for five years, possibly as part of a broader agreement to fund the government before a January 19 deadline. "I have every reason to believe it's going to happen before Friday".

Even though Texas officials say CHIP funds are available through February 28, 2018, many states are on "red alert" because funding has expired.