Congress Ends CHIP Funding Crisis During Latest Budget Negotiations
Posted on January 23, 2018
After 114 days without a long-term budget, the federal funding crisis facing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has ended. As part of a federal short-term budget extension to Feb. 8 that passed following the recent government shutdown, Congress approved a $124 billion funding plan to keep CHIP operating through 2023. While the MHA applauds the long-term funding plan for CHIP, the association remains concerned about the lack of a long-term funding plan for the federal budget and its impact on other healthcare programs in Michigan, including federal funding for community health centers.
CHIP provides low-cost healthcare coverage to nearly 9 million children from low- and middle-income families across the nation, including approximately 120,000 in Michigan. The program, which helps children whose families don’t qualify for traditional Medicaid but are unable to afford healthcare coverage, provides an affordable insurance option that helps cover expenses ranging from check-ups and immunizations to cancer care. Michigan’s popular MIChild program is funded through CHIP.
Since its inception 20 years ago, CHIP has been attributed with helping cut the number of uninsured children in the nation by half. According to a 2014 study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, CHIP and Medicaid combined now provide healthcare coverage for one in every three children in the U.S. CHIP has traditionally received wide support from Republicans and Democrats alike, but federal funding for the program came into play in 2017 during political wrangling over more controversial policies, including the Affordable Care Act and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which is commonly referred to as the DACA program.
Given the success of CHIP in Michigan and the number of children who rely on the program for healthcare coverage, the MHA joined member hospitals and national healthcare organizations in advocating for a long-term funding solution during the 114 days CHIP was without a budget. It included participation in a national social media event Jan. 10 to bring attention to the issue. The MHA encourages members to thank U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters and Michigan members of the U.S. House of Representatives who supported the program. Members with questions should contact Laura Appel at the MHA.
Posted in: Top Issues - Healthcare