The stall in funding for CHIP, a federally funded program that covers moderately low-income children in the US, leaves almost nine million children and their families in a worrisome limbo. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) that revised the cost estimate for a five-year funding extension down to $800 million.
And CHIP is just one piece of federal health assistance programs aimed at at-risk families and children who need a long-term funding solution. CBO says the alternatives are more expensive: "the federal costs of the alternatives to providing coverage through CHIP (primarily Medicaid, subsidized coverage in the marketplaces, and employment-based insurance) are larger than the costs of providing coverage through CHIP during that period".
If Congress does not fully fund CHIP and MassHealth maintained the current program, MA would lose out on an estimated $147.5 million in fiscal 2018 and $295 million annually starting in fiscal 2019, according to the Office of Health and Human Services.
"I don't want to be jumping for joy, but as a result of this very bad policy, CBO now says that CHIP will cost significantly less - and that over a decade, it will produce a net savings", Pallone says.
Congress approved $2.85 billion for the program before Christmas, hoping it would last though March.
President Donald Trump celebrates with Congressional Republicans after Congress passed tax reform in December 2017. Reuters Carlos Barria
If that accident happened later this year, though, Natali, 50, of Aliquippa, Pa., might be scrambling. She can not afford private coverage for her two children on her dental hygienist pay. Some states, including Minnesota, are using state dollars to fund the program. These low-income families need assurance CHIP payments will be there in the future.
"This is good news in the short term, but Congress needs to get moving on a clean, 5-year CHIP extension as soon as possible", said Anne Dunkelberg, associate director for the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, in an emailed statement.
"These families don't know if the rug is being pulled out from them at any time", he said. The health of 9 million American children shouldn't be compromised to put more money in the pockets of billionaires.
Williams said in her e-mail that the $135 million now won't be immediately needed because of the December spending bill. But the new projections, issued in a letter to Rep. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.