Congress May Allow CHIP to Expire Amid New Effort to Harm Medicaid, Kids

WASHINGTON—With only a handful of legislative days left to extend funding for the popular and bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Congress is focused instead on a proposal by Senators Cassidy, Graham, Heller, and Johnson to do enormous harm to the Medicaid program and the 38 million children who depend on it.

Bruce Lesley, President of the First Focus Campaign for Children, said:

“The nearly 9 million American kids who rely on CHIP for their healthcare are once again being ignored by a Congress intent on playing politics with their well-being. The program expires in just days and, yet, the bipartisan bill (S.1827) to extend CHIP’s funding is just sitting in committee while congressional leaders consider trying to once again eviscerate Medicaid and undermine consumer protections for children, this time led by Senators Cassidy, Graham, Heller, and Johnson.

This new Republican proposal includes the same devastating provisions for children that the two previous ACA repeal and replace bills contained earlier this summer.

It cuts coverage for millions of Americans and underfunds Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars, and allows states to end protections that ensure coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Currently, Medicaid covers 38 million kids.

The proposal’s most troubling aspects for children and families are the imposition of a per capita cap on Medicaid for children, people with disabilities, and senior citizens (along with an option for states to convert that to a block grant), and a full-blown conversion of Medicaid coverage for low-income adults and Obamacare tax credits into block grants to states.

At the end of the day, the Cassidy-Graham-Heller-Johnson proposal is nothing more than a cynical shuffling of federal dollars from some states to others in a somewhat desperate attempt to entice some governors and senators in so-called “winner states.”

Read More: Bruce Lesley in Medium--Another Reason to Oppose Graham-Cassidy: Hurricanes


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