February 28, 2018

Children's Health

After several months of failure to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Congress passed a six-year CHIP reauthorization as part of negotiations to end a government shutdown in January. The reauthorization is part of P.L. 115-120 (H.R. 195), a fiscal year 2018 continuing appropriations bill signed by President Trump on Jan. 22. The ABA, which has long supported CHIP, encourages the provision of comprehensive health care for children. The program’s authorization had expired on Sept. 30, 2017, and states were struggling to continue to provide health care to eligible low-income children. On Dec. 18, before CHIP was reauthorized, the ABA sent a letter urging Senate and House leaders to pass an immediate long-term extension of funding for the program. ABA Governmental Affairs Director Thomas M. Susman emphasized in the letter that about 8.9 million children rely on CHIP. Many of the children who stood to lose the protection of CHIP would likely have no other affordable coverage option available to them, he wrote, because these children are in working families whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to purchase private insurance. “The resulting increase in the rate of uninsured children would be an enormous step backwards,” he emphasized.

 

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