This week, both the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) moved bills out of their respective committees. Per last week’s update , Congress blew past the Sept. 30 deadline to fund this program for millions of children.
Historically, CHIP has strong bipartisan support. However, that was not the case this week. On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Helping Ensure Access for Little Ones, Toddlers and Hopeful Youth by Keeping Insurance Delivery Stable (Healthy Kids) Act (H.R. 3921). The bill passed the committee without support from Democrats. Although the House bill is nearly similar to the Senate version, the House measure includes offsets, which Democrats could not support and therefore voted against the measure. For an explanation of the offsets, read this blog post from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
A different story emerged on the Senate side, with the Keep Kids' Insurance Dependable and Secure Act of 2017 (S. 1827) sailing through the Finance Committee with bipartisan support.
At this point, it is unclear when a bill to fund the CHIP program will be sent to the president’s desk. Several states will soon begin to notify families of changes to their children’s coverage, such as loss of coverage or changes to eligibility and/or benefits, if the federal program is not funded soon.
Let the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Public Policy and Mobilization Office know if you hear concerns expressed by families by emailing Carla Plaza, director of public policy and government relations.
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