American Children Have A Higher Chance Of Dying Before Adulthood

Ellen Mills
January 14, 2018

Funding for CHIP expired on September 30, 2017, because Congress failed to extend funding for the program.

CHIP provides insurance for almost 9 million low-income children across the nation.

CHIP has always had bipartisan support, and Congress shouldn't gamble with our kids' health by delaying funding or by continuing with patchwork funding while they play politics in Washington, D.C. Children and families need reliable coverage, and states need to know that funding will continue long-term. An analysis by the CBO last week found that a five-year CHIP extension would cost $800 million, substantially less than previous estimates.

A 2014 report by Health Affairs comparing Medicaid and CHIP coverage to employer-sponsored insurance, revealed that families enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP fared better in medical bill repayments than families with private insurance (10 percent versus 19 percent). It covers about 9 million children, including 2 million in California.

Had that accident happened this year, though, Natali, 50, of Aliquippa, Pa., might be scrambling.

Trump Tax Cuts
President Donald Trump celebrates with Congressional Republicans after Congress passed tax reform in December 2017. Reuters Carlos Barria

"While the balance in the redistribution pool may be sufficient to cover February shortfalls enabling all states to cover children through February, it has become increasingly hard to predict how long funds will last for any particular state", the center concluded (PDF).

Keeping kids healthy should be a top priority, he said. Funding for the program expired in September, though Congress approved a short-term spending package in December. The CHIP benefits allow him to continue his work as a civil rights attorney, providing free representation for people with disabilities. "That's covered by CHIP".

Dr. Todd Wolynn, a Pittsburgh pediatrician, said families are reacting with "fear and disbelief" to CHIP's uncertain future. However long an extension they land on, lawmakers said, all signs point that CHIP will at the very least get funded in the January 19 continuing budget resolution that Congress needs to pass to avert a government shutdown. I am urging my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urgently prioritize issues that are essential to working folks - like ensuring the children who rely on CHIP can keep getting the care they need.

"These studies consistently show that CHIP has improved access to and affordability of care for kids", Jenny Kenney at the Urban Institute said.

Ariel Haughton of Pittsburgh said she's upset her federal lawmakers have left CHIP in flux for her two children and millions of kids around the country. Why is health care for our children being disrupted?

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