Doug Jones cosponsors bill to renew CHIP funding

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Why is this? One researcher claims that it probably has a lot to do with the United States' chaotic health care system, which frankly, isn't so surprising considering Congress isn't funding kids' health insurance. The program covers almost 9 million children and pregnant women across the country.

"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.

That may have gotten easier with a January 5 estimate showing that a Senate bill to extend CHIP would increase deficits by $800 million over 10 years, far lower than the previous projection of more than $8 billion. John Cornyn of Texas, who is part of the Senate leadership, and Rep. Greg Walden of OR, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee - told reporters Wednesday that they think an agreement is close. But Congress is now debating long-term funding options. Part of the problem is they haven't been told by CMS how it will disburse money from the agency's so-called redistribution pool. But that appears to have been a gross miscalculation, because the Trump administration said Friday that some states would start running out of money after January 19.

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Although hospitals, doctor groups and child health advocates have been sounding the alarm about CHIP for months, the Trump administration has kept quiet, saying only that it's up to Congress to renew the program. It serves about 9 million children nationwide each year, and states have some discretion in setting their income eligibility standards, and eligibility varies across states.

Had that accident happened this year, though, Natali, 50, of Aliquippa, Pa., might be scrambling. Many can not afford coverage in the private market.

"These are kids", Walker said. "If we go to six years, it may have no cost", Walden said Thursday, referring to the CBO analysis, which shows a breakeven point at about the six-year mark (see the table here). When Ciro broke his arm ice-skating previous year, CHIP covered his medical bills. "We should stop the uncertainty and permanently extend CHIP".

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This appears to be the case even though Congress had been expected to maintain the program's operations until at least the end of March, according to federal health officials. You can't manage a health program like that. "They might not have a family physician, or a clear support system". Murkowski said health care costs should be a priority.

Navsaria also worries that many parents will be surprised if their children are suddenly without coverage. States are now faced with shutting down the program. "They seem so cavalier about it", she said.

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