Source: Governor’s Office of Health Transformation and Health Policy Institute of Ohio
A bipartisan group of governors led by Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich and Colorado Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper is urging Congress to act quickly to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) (Source: “Bipartisan Group of Governors Calls for Swift CHIP Reauthorization,” The Hill, December 12, 2017).
In a letter to Congress, the governors said their states are running out of money, and urged lawmakers to find a bipartisan solution.
Federal funding for CHIP expired on September 30 and while states have been able to use leftover funds in the interim, some will run out of money by the end of the year. The recently-passed continuing resolution lifted restrictions to give the most-at-risk states access to a pool of unspent government funds, but that pool is rapidly being depleted.
The House passed a five-year CHIP extension in early November, but it was mostly on a party-line vote as Democrats objected to the bill’s offsets. The Senate Finance Committee cleared a CHIP extension but did not discuss offsets and the bill has yet to come to the floor for a vote. There’s hope among lawmakers that an agreement could be reached to include a CHIP renewal in the next government spending bill, but without an agreement on offsets, there’s a risk the renewal could slip to January.