Doug Jones cosponsors bill to renew CHIP funding

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A top Republican state senator is warning that Florida will not able to keep a major children's health-insurance program running if Congress doesn't authorize additional money in the near future.

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.

More than 400,000 Texas children get their health insurance through CHIP, but funding for the decades-long program expired in September.

Congress approved $2.85 billion for the program before Christmas, hoping it would last though March.

Funding the program - which provides health insurance to almost 9 million children from low-income families - for 10 years would save the federal government $6 billion, according to the CBO's report. That makes extending CHIP cheaper, from the government's point of view.

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Since a September deadline passed without CHIP reauthorization by Congress, funding in MA has included a combination of fiscal 2017 carry-over funds and "redistribution funding" from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the Baker administration. Thanks to CHIP, 9,055 children from Marion County - that's 11 percent of children in the county - this year have been able to access check-ups, immunizations, dental care, doctors' visits, and other important health care services.

Last month's temporary budget fix, H.R. 1370, also provided $550 million for community health centers that serve more than 25 million, many in struggling communities - enough to last only through March 31. House Energy and Commerce Chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said publicly on Thursday he wants six years as the committee's Ranking Democrat Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) griped about the so-called pay-fors that offset the cost of funding CHIP. the provisions in the previous GOP-led package targeted the grace period for Affordable Care Act enrollees as well as the ACA prevention fund.

"This uncertainty and the ongoing inaction by Congress increases the likelihood that states will take action to prepare families for the worst". "With this news, securing kids' health care for the long-term should be a no-brainer".

Federal funding for CHIP originally ran out October 1. "Meanwhile, Colorado and CT families received letters informing them that their children may soon lose CHIP coverage".

So far, the debate has centered on a five-year extension of CHIP's budget. "I have every reason to believe it's going to happen before Friday". But officials say some states could start running out of money as early as next week.

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