CHIP has now been extended for six years but many other parts of the “health extenders” package remain in limbo. The CHIP extension became easy when CBO revised its long term cost projections. It basically paid for itself since some of the recent restrictions on the ACA may drive up government costs if families are forced to shift from the CHIP program if it were to expire.

On the revised CBO score Congress could have gone much farther. A ten year extension would actually save $6 billion and that could have allowed Congress to also extend the Home Visiting program, community health centers and several other health bills. They did not. It is still possible the issue could be revised and CHIP could be extended further and perhaps capture any additional savings for these programs.