CHIP May Turn into Bargaining Chip

A Senate committee will consider the extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, whose funding is scheduled to expire next September. CHIP, which covers children in families earning up to 200% of poverty, has expanded children’s coverage since its creation in 1997, and has also enjoyed bipartisan support.

Federal spending for CHIP was $13 billion in 2013, up 8% over 2012.  If CHIP ends, up to 2 million children will lose access to healthcare and another 8 million may lose access to specialty care.

The federal Medicaid and CHIP commission has asked for an extension to allow a smooth transition of children into health plans sold on the Obamacare exchanges.

It’s predicted that Republicans will try to use the program’s extension as a bargaining chip to win support for turning Medicaid into a state block grant program.

To read the article by Virgil Dickson click here.

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