Virginia, Other States Face Chaos as Congress Delays CHIP Funding

Holding Lumps of Coal Dems Demand GOP Reauthorize CHIP

That's if Congress fails to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). As you know, CHIP funding expired nearly three months ago on September 30, 2017 and as federal funding to the states is running out, families across the country are receiving disenrollment notices and face an uncertain future about their children's health care just as they enter the holiday season.

The funding provides money for CHIP through the end of March as the GOP faces criticism from Democrats who argued Republicans were prepared to leave town without extending a program that provides support for 9 million children across the country. No one knows for sure whether the massive tax cut bill would produce the projected economic growth but one would think that it would be crystal clear that Healthy Kids would make our Nation's future bright. But Alabama health officials say they will likely close the program in the new year if Congress doesn't renew funding.

As leading national, state, tribal, and local organizations concerned about the health and well-being of America's children and pregnant women, we are writing to urge you to immediately enact a strong, five-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

It remained uncertain how those states and others would react to the latest infusion of federal money. CMS and the states have been scrambling to shift other funds around to keep the program going. Last week, Senator John Cornyn tweeted that funding CHIP is on Congress's radar, simply stating "Congress will pass a long term CHIP bill next week".

CHIP helps families who don't qualify for Medicaid, but have trouble affording health insurance for their kids.

"CHIP is one that we can not play games with", Lawrence said at a news conference of the Democratic Women's Working Group at the U.S Capitol.

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Cathy Caldwell, director of Alabama's CHIP program, said closing the program would be devastating for many families.

Lawmakers are scrambling to pass a bill to keep the government funded through January 19.

Udow-Phillips says MI could withstand this lapse in funding longer than some other states. The 17,000 youths in CT would have to find another - more expensive - way to find health insurance if the program vaporizes.

Income eligibility levels for CHIP vary widely among states, though most set thresholds at or below 200 percent of the poverty level, about $49,000 for a family of four.

The temporary funds would be approved by a continuing resolution bill and the Senate needs to vote on that too.

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