Extending CHIP for 10 years rather than 5 saves $6 billion, CBO

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Restore long-term funding for children's health programs

"He is committed to working with his colleagues to provide long-term reauthorizing and funding for the program that is vital for so many vulnerable children in the Denali KidCare program and across the country".

Jones became the 24 co-sponsor of the bill, the Keep Kids' Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act of 2017. For Ohio's vulnerable children, that's an upside of sorts, since the program will continue even if CHIP money runs out. The program covers almost 9 million children and pregnant women across the country.

So far, the debate has centered on a five-year extension of CHIP's budget. "We have 2.6 million children who are enrolled in the Florida KidCare program, including the Medicaid (children). It is long past time to renew CHIP and I'm proud to join my colleagues who are fighting for the children who depend on it". Last month, Congress approved an 11th hour plan by passing a short-term spending measure to keep the program going until March. But after Congress approved a short-term spending plan on December 21, ALL Kids withdrew those warnings for the time being.

Despite new indications that renewing the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could actually save the federal government money, Congress has yet to pass a reauthorization of the program.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office initially said a 10-year extension to would increase the deficit to $8 billion, then later revised the estimate to $800 million.

CHIP expired September 30, threatening coverage for millions of recipients who would likely otherwise be uninsured.

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The federal government paid almost $14.5 billion for CHIP expenses in fiscal 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. By March, according to a new report from Georgetown University, almost half of all states will exhaust all of their federal funding.

Already, some states have begun to send out notices to families warning them that their children's insurance may no longer be available in the coming months.

There is bipartisan support for CHIP in Delaware.

"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. "We should stop the uncertainty and permanently extend CHIP".

In his 35 years of practice, Patel, of San Antonio, has seen the lengths to which parents will go for their critically ill children. The group practice hasn't changed any scheduling for CHIP patients, but he said "families are terrified" about the coverage disappearing. Murkowski said health care costs should be a priority.

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