The budget agreement includes a further extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for ten years. The last CR had finally extended the expired CHIP program for six years. That was done because when Congress further restricted the ACA it meant that if CHIP disappeared it would be more costly to the federal government because some of those families would have found subsidized ACA policies that would be more costly then extending CHIP. As a result a six year CHIP extension saved money and a ten year extension will save approximately $4 billion more than the six year deal announced earlier. So a further extension allowed for additional funding.

The ten year CHIP extension now removes its next reauthorization beyond this current Administration under any scenario. It means it will likely come up in a Congress not part of the tortured path of the 2017-18 reauthorization.