California Weighs Options To Keep CHIP Funded: ‘It’s A Sophie’s Choice We Shouldn’t Have To Make’
It seems likely that Congress will push any decision on CHIP funding until next year, and states and parents who rely on the program are starting to panic.
The Desert Sun:
Are Tens Of Thousands Of California Kids About To Lose Their Health Care?
Without congressional action, California expects its federal funds to run out by early January, if not sooner, leaving state officials to figure out how to make up the difference, which could involve taking money from other programs. ... California received $3.1 billion from the federal government for the program for the last federal fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. Those funds make up 88 percent of the costs, said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the Department of Finance. The state picks up the rest, about $734 million. (Aguilera, 12/20)
The Washington Post:
Kids’ Health Insurance Hangs In Balance, And Parents Wonder What’s Wrong With Congress
The lingering uncertainty in Congress over the fate of the Children’s Health Insurance Program has left Ashlee and Levi Smith torn between optimism and anxiety. As the parents of two young children who have relied on the government-backed health-care plan, the Smiths are unsure whether they should stretch their finances to put their boys, 3 and 3 months, on a private plan — or have faith that a polarized Congress will work it out. “$1,200 for the four of us,” Ashlee Smith, 26, said, estimating the plan’s monthly cost from their two-bedroom townhouse outside Salt Lake City, where she crafts necklaces as part of the family business. “We can’t pay that and save for a mortgage, or save anything at all.” (Samuels, 12/21)
State Officials Panicked Over Children’s Health Program
Families are becoming increasingly panicked about children losing health insurance without new funding from Congress, state officials warned Wednesday as a new report showed nearly 2 million kids could be dropped from coverage next month. Roughly 1.9 million children across the country could lose insurance in January if Congress fails to renew Children's Health Insurance Program funding, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Another 1 million could lose coverage by the end of February if the congressional stalemate drags on. (Pradhan, 12/20)