The House voted late last week on legislation that would extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for five years. The measure (H.R. 3922) also would continue several other health programs, including community health centers, for two years. The measure also would provide more Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and delay reductions in Medicaid payments to disproportionate share hospitals (DSH) with large numbers of low-income patients.
To offset the costs of the measure, a separate amendment would increase Medicare premiums for high-income beneficiaries. That would be in addition to reduced funding for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Prevention and Public Health Fund, limits to a grace period for paying health insurance premiums under the ACA, limits on Medicaid eligibility for lottery winners, and changes to Medicaid third party liability rules.
The legislation was mostly passed along party lines with a few crossover votes.
The Senate is not expected to vote on the version passed by the House, and timeline for Senate action has not been announced.
Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families released a report detailing the consequences of Congress’ inaction on CHIP. Based on the report from CCF and a report from MacPac, Ohio is expected to run out of funding by the end of the year.
The delay in extending funding for CHIP could significantly impact the state budget. Loss of this funding could force the Governor to propose other budgetary cuts as early as January 2018. This puts nearly 224,000 children in Ohio at risk because of Congress’ inaction to extend CHIP funding. Congress failed to meet the September 30th deadline, causing states to scramble on children’s health insurance.
Check out our NEW resource, CHIP enrollment fact sheets by Congressional Districts. Download them and send to your Member of Congress.