Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

Who will lead effort to refund Children's Health Insurance Program?

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Judith Alexander | 22 December, 2017, 02:08

"It's incredibly frustrating it's taken so long and such great lengths to fund this historically bipartisan program, but we are encouraged that we are now a step closer to seeing this critical extension become law", Walden said last week in a statement with Texas Rep. Michael C. Burgess, who chairs the panel's Health Subcommittee. Alabama reduced the number of children without health coverage to 3 percent - in part by getting 95,000 kids into the CHIP program.

"If you issue the notice and say "your child's coverage may end on this date". That's simply not right", he said. The money would be included in a short-term spending bill to keep the federal government open. Seven thousand kids will be tossed off on January 1 (Happy New Year!) and tens of thousands more would exit a month later.

"Congress needs to get its act together and start working for everyday people and especially the children, not big corporations". Alabama has one of the broadest eligibility levels - 317 percent of the poverty level, or $78,000 for a family of four. No family should go through the holiday season worrying about how to pay for their child's health care or be forced to make choices about whether or not to see the doctor or go without the medication they need.

Unlike Medicaid, CHIP is usually not free. Idaho pays a significant share of the costs for Medicaid recipients, whereas CHIP is fully funded by federal dollars.

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"Our phones are ringing off the wall", Caldwell said.

The Republican-controlled House has voted to extend the 20-year-old program for five years and would fund it by charging richer Medicare enrollees higher premiums and taking money from a public health fund created under the Affordable Care Act. It's problematic, says center director Joan Alker and there are few alternatives.

"We have about 270 patients just in our clinic here who have all kids coverage so those folks over the next couple of months are going to be facing using their benefits", says Dawson. "This will really be a huge blow". They approved a similar stopgap solution in September that was about to expire.

As a Friday government shutdown deadline loomed, Congress was looking at ways to pass a stopgap measure and boot unfinished items like CHIP, an $81 billion disaster aid package and protections for young immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children into next year. It has been slightly modified to reflect Spectrum's style.

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