Medical

Texas Sen. John Cornyn confident Congress will pass CHIP funding

Texas Sen. John Cornyn confident Congress will pass CHIP funding”

A top Republican state senator is warning that Florida will not able to keep a major children's health-insurance program running if Congress doesn't authorize additional money in the near future.

The dynamics involved are complicated, and include the effects of eliminating the Obamacare individual mandate as well as reductions in the federal matching rate for CHIP that kick in over time, but the CBO's conclusion is getting attention in Congress, which has been unable to agree on how to fund the program.

Congress allowed CHIP funding to expire September 30.

"If the funding is not provided by the federal government, families who receive CHIP will begin to get rift letters and discouraging enrollments", Heflin explained. It's a drastic step, since the federal government pays, on average, almost 90 percent of CHIP costs.

Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a Madison, Wis., pediatrician and vice president of the state's chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said many parents and doctors have been told for months that Congress would firm up long-term funding for CHIP, but those promises have been dashed.

Without CHIP, dental hygienist Marina Natali says she couldn't afford health coverage for her sons, 12-year-old Ciro (right) and 15-year-old Marcus. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tweeted Wednesday.

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The short-term budget also made cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, according to an aide to U.S. Sen.

The Congressional Budget Office has previously estimated that it would cost the federal government $800 million to extend the CHIP program for another five years. That's far short of the five-year $8 billion CHIP extension advocates had sought.

"This uncertainty and the ongoing inaction by Congress increases the likelihood that states will take action to prepare families for the worst".

The news, first, comes less than a month after Texas Health and Human Services Commission officials announced that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was giving the state $135 million to continue the program through February. The group practice hasn't changed any scheduling for CHIP patients, but he said "families are terrified" about the program having to be terminated.

CHIP needs to regain long-term funding.

ALL Kids, the Alabama program funded through CHIP, warned late past year that it would have to stop enrolling children into the program on January 1 and may run out of funding by February 1. "I have every reason to believe it's going to happen before Friday". Another 13 states are expected to run out of funds the following month.



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