Health Care

Facing government shutdown, what happens to local CHIP kids?

Facing government shutdown, what happens to local CHIP kids?

Congress extended funding for the health insurance program through March.

CHIP provides low-priced health insurance to a total of about nine million children nationwide and, in 20 states, pregnant women also qualify for coverage.

Bell's daughters are recipients of the Children's Health Insurance Program or CHIP, which is a program that provides low-priced coverage to families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Nationwide, about 9 million youths take advantage of CHIP. Many have credited CHIP with reducing the uninsured rate among children from 14 percent in 1997 to just 4.5 percent in 2015. In Idaho, CHIP funding may last until the end of January, but theres no guarantee for the rest of the year.

Separate from all of this is the fact that Congress needs to pass a government funding bill by Friday in order to prevent a shutdown. The statement also said that the Senate would consider an omnibus spending bill, CHIP and funding for community health centers after the first of the year.

Palestinians will not accept any U.S. peace plan, says Abbas
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Riyadh on December 21, 2017. The French president said he will be visiting Palestine and Israel next year in a bid to give a boost to peace talks.

With the continuing resolution passed by Congress on December 21, 2017, ALL Kids will not freeze enrollment on January 1, 2018 nor terminate coverage on February 1, 2018. (There are now 84,000 children enrolled in the state, who also stand to lose coverage by the end of January.) History reveals that even temporary enrollment freezes can leadto major drops in coverage.

"For the families and almost 9 million children who rely on CHIP for their health care, this is highly disappointing", Bruce Lesley, president of the children and families health advocacy group, First Focus, wrote in an email.

-Colorado: Lawmakers approved Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper's request for $9.6 million in state funds to finance the program through February.

Erin Miller, the vice president of health initiatives with the Colorado Children's Campaign told Public News Service that lapses in CHIP coverage could be financially devastating for families. That's certainly better than nothing, as it will stave off immediate disaster for those two million children who would otherwise lose their health care in January, but by March, those kids - and everyone who gets their health care from CHIP - will be in the exact same position they're in now.


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