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CHIP in limbo as Congress struggles to extend the Children’s health insurance program

In Washington, while lawmakers assure the Children’s health insurance program will be renewed it provides minimal comfort for those with children in the program. This uncertainty which surrounds federal funding for the program has some rethinking their current jobs and everyday purchases.

While members of Congress continue to debate different ways, the program can be paid for has left many concerned about the prospect of paying several hundred dollars more each month to help cover their health care premiums.

For many It’s hard to not think about this and is causing a major upheaval in the daily lives over the concerns of insurance for their children.

CHIP serves almost 9 million (moderately) low-income children with the federal state matching program and is one of the priorities that are urgent though seemingly lost within the congressional efforts of repealing Obamacare and tax code revisions.

In December; Congress approved a patch which was short term. This was 2.85 billion dollars after funding expired on September 30th. The patch for the program is through March though there is uncertainty in how long funds will last.

The program’s five-year reauthorization has bipartisan support and would cost the federal government around 14.5 billion each year. Focuses for the debate are about how to offset costs for this program.

A January 5th estimate that showed the Senate bill would extend CHIP could increase deficits by 800 million dollars over the course of 10 years may have made this easier. This is much lower than previous projections of more than 8 billion dollars. In comparison; a tax overhaul which passed in December is expecting to add 1.8 trillion dollars to the debt over the course of 10 years stated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

While a deal is being worked on by congressional leaders which would extend the program for a 5-year period and could possibly be part of a larger agreement to fund the government prior to January 19 deadlines.

While it is stated that a vigilant commitment which ensures the program won’t be subjected to repeat short term fixes while constantly having looming deadline. Families in America started 2018 being worried their kids would not have health care.


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