Congress Fails to Fund Health Insurance for 9 Million Children
More than 9 million kids and pregnant women from low- to middle-income families currently receive low-cost health insurance through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). But on September 30th the funding for this program lapsed—and there's no indication as to whether it will continue to be funded.
CHIP has been around for nearly 20 years, and has received bipartisan support throughout much of its existence. Under the program, the number of uninsured children decreased from 14 percent to 4.5 percent. But as Congress debated the future of healthcare in this country, the deadline for approving funding for this program came and went.
Most of the funding for CHIP has come from the federal government, with states pitching in and families paying up to five percent of their annual income toward premiums and payments. But without federal funding, several states will run out of money by the end of this year, and many more by March 2018.
There is a bipartisan bill currently in the Senate that could reauthorize the program for another five years, but hasn't yet been scheduled for a vote. In the meantime, the programs will continue to cover services—until the money runs out.
Want to have a say on CHIP? Contact your senators and congressperson at (202) 224-3121.