Health secretary: Funding for CHIP will last until February in Delaware

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Restore long-term funding for children's health programs

Even more worrying, after partisan squabbles allowed the program to lapse September 30, is that "it's unclear how long [that funding] will actually allow all states to continue operating their CHIP programs", warns the National Academy for State Health Policy. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wants to pass as long an extension as possible and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he would like to see 10 years as well. It works to safeguard the health of children, and long has enjoyed bipartisan support.

Extending CHIP for 10 years would save a total of $6 billion, CBO staffers said.

Lawmakers' assurances that they'll soon renew the Children's Health Insurance Program are of little comfort to Andrew Montoya, whose three daughters are covered by the program.

Dr. Joanne Hilden, a pediatric cancer physician in Aurora, Colo., and past president of the American Society of Hematology-Oncology, said cancer patients who are anxious their CHIP funding will run out can't schedule care ahead of time.

The Senate Finance Committee reached an agreement to extend the program for five years but did not unite around a plan on funding.

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Before the short-term funding was passed in late December, CHIP programs survived on the states' unspent funds and a $3 billion redistribution pool of CHIP dollars controlled by CMS.

"Families across America had to start 2018 anxious that their kids wouldn't have health care", she tweeted. For many Republicans, this mandate has been the chief concern with the ACA since it was enacted. "That's the type of family that we're talking about - people that are out there working and just need a little assistance to get coverage for their children", he said. "That says nothing about the tens of thousands more around the nation". By March, according to a new report from Georgetown University, almost half of all states will exhaust all of their federal funding.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, said she's frustrated with Congress for not making the bill a priority.

"We really have to hope Congress acts on it, because it's too big a hole for the state to have pick up, " said Flores, chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. KidCare is the umbrella name given to four different children's health programs: the federal children's health insurance program commonly called CHIP; Medikids, which is the traditional Medicaid program for children; Children's Medical Services Network, which provides care to medically complex children, and the Florida Healthy Kids program. "It feels to me like, if Congress really cared, they would address children's health care".

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