Monday, October 9, 2017

Children’s Health Insurance Program expires — 9 million children at risk

We already alerted the issue of DSH, the primary source of funding for more than 1,300 community health centers serving some 27 million people, expiring September 30th without Congressional action. CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health care coverage for 9 million children, expired along with DSH.[1]

See our article on Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) expiration cuts HERE

September 30th also marked President Trump's proclamation of Monday, October 1st, as Child Health Day.

Congress's inaction disrespected its own action establishing Child Health Day ninety years ago, in 1928. Fortunately, there are signs for the moment that Congress is attempting to move forward on CHIP funding before already allocated funding runs out at state levels some time in early 2018.

Nor did the President's proclamation honor maternal and child health as a priority. President Trump hailed an increase of $30,000,000 in his budget for maternal and child care block grants — and failed to mention that in reality he cut maternal and child care programs by $35,000,000 overall.

$35 million pales in comparison to $616 billion

However, even if Congress renews CHIP retroactively, the President's budget eliminates direct funding in FY 2020 and slashes Medicaid funds which states apply to maternal and children's health programs, a total of $616 billion cut over the next decade. From the budget:

"Extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

"While the future of CHIP is addressed alongside other health reforms, the Budget proposes to extend CHIP funding for two years, through 2019, providing stability to States and families. The Budget also proposes a series of improvements that rebalance the State-Federal partnership, including returning to the historic Federal matching rate, and increasing State flexibility."

"Reform Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)"
2018$ 2,000,000,000
2019$ 3,000,000,000
2020$ 10,000,000,000
2021$ 20,000,000,000
2022$ 40,000,000,000
2023$ 60,000,000,000
2024$ 80,000,000,000
2025$ 105,000,000,000
2026$ 130,000,000,000
2027$ 165,000,000,000
Total cut$ 616,000,000,000

For the very same community at risk served by MCHB funding, the administration's budget cuts $5.8 billion in direct CHIP funding and $616 billion total over the next decade. Only when you see the numbers including all the 0's do you comprehend the magnitude of this disservice to America.

The President's proclamation, that as a father himself he values all America's children, runs counter to his actions and proposed budget — where the words "increase"[2] and "improvements" mask funding cuts which put our children, our future, at risk.

Congress has failed to act, and the administration failed to protect.

FAILS Working America
[1]These were both part of a single bill in 2015 which extended funding for CHIP and DSH through fiscal year 2017. (The Federal fiscal year runs from October 1st of the prior calendar year through September 30th of the current year. Fiscal 2017 expired September 30, 2017.
[2]From President Trump's proclamation: "As a father, I know the hope and joy children bring to our lives. They are society's most precious treasures and our most vulnerable population. We all share the moral responsibility to protect the health of our children, born and unborn, so they have the chance to achieve their potential. To these ends, my Fiscal Year 2018 Budget provides a million increase for the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant program, which enhances access to critical health services for 57 million women and children."

Read more

  • HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau FACT SHEET, U.S. Health & Human Services. LINK
  • Explore the Title V Federal-State Partnership, U.S. Health & Human Services. LINK
  • Program that provides low-cost health care to 9M children set to expire, ABC News. LINK
  • 9 million kids get health insurance under CHIP. Congress just let it expire., Washington Post. LINK
  • Almost 400,000 Texans' insurance at risk after Congress fails to renew CHIP, Texas Tribune. LINK
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