Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorized for 10 Years
On Monday, January 22, 2018, Congress passed and the President signed a continuing resolution that included a six-year reauthorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Additionally, Congress passed another continuing resolution on February 9, 2018 that extended CHIP's funding for an additional four years, for a total of ten years. The Epilepsy Foundation applauds congressional action on a multi-year reauthorization that reflects longstanding bipartisan support for this critical program. CHIP provides coverage for 8.9 million American children, including 2 million children with chronic conditions like epilepsy.
Read our original press release here.
Congress Funds CHIP Through March 31, 2018 as Part of Short-Term Continuing Resolution
On December 21, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that funds the government until January 19, 2018. The CR included temporary funding for CHIP through March 31, 2018. While this is welcome news for the nearly 9 million children who depend on CHIP we still a need a permanent fix. Thousands of families are receiving notices informing them of when their children’s benefits will end and some states have stopped enrolling children. We join Governors, state leaders, and children’s health advocates in urging Congress to reauthorize CHIP funding for multiple years.
Congress Passes Short-Term Continuing Resolution
Temporary CHIP funding was included in the short-term continuing resolution (CR), H.J. Res 123, that funds the government until December 22, 2017 and was signed by the President on December 8, 2017. The provision allows states who are running out of CHIP funds to access additional funding as Congress works to reauthorize the program. While this temporary fix was welcome, it is not a substitute for a full, long-term reauthorization of the funding for CHIP.
House Passes Bill that would Fund CHIP
On November 3, 2017, the U.S. House passed H.R. 3922, the Championing Health Kids Act, by a vote of 242-174. The vote was largely decided along party lines. The Championing Health Kids Act includes a 5-year funding extension for CHIP.
The bill also included a 2-year funding extension for Federally Qualified Heath Centers (FQHCs) and various other important public health programs. Opposition to the bill revolved around provisions that would cut funding to the prevention and public health fund in order to pay for these funding extensions and public health programs.
Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce Committees Pass CHIP bills
On October 4, 2017, both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed their own versions of a CHIP reauthorization bill. The Senate version passed nearly unanimously by a voice vote, where the House version was debated at length and approve along party lines by a vote of 28-23.
Bills still need to be consider before the full Senate and House for final passage.