The CR includes a temporary patch for the CHIP program. The $2.8 billion is intended as an extension that would shore up states through March 2018. Critics question whether funding will last that long. It is expected that 2 million kids will continue coverage because of the small patch. Several states have been sending out notices to families attempting to preparing families for a future cut-off if Congress fails to act.

There was a new CBO analysis (score) that indicates that extending CHIP would not cost as much as it has in the past. In judging the Senate bill, 1827, considering the changes Congress made to the ACA by eliminating the individual mandate, by not renewing CHIP Congress would drive some families into the now more expensive marketplaces. That generally has the effect of driving up federal costs through the ACA making a renewal of CHIP less costly. The analysis of CBO indicates a five-year extension would total only $800 million over five years. Something that should not be a roadblock for members who just voted for a tax cut that will increase federal deficits by more than $1 trillion over ten years.

Democrats have been listing CHIP reauthorization as part of their budget deal requirements. The House bill, HR 3922, pays for a five-tear expansion by cutting a health care prevention fund established under the ACA and by raising premiums for higher income Medicare patients. There have been suggestions off the record that negotiators have an acceptable offset, presumably non-controversial.

CHIP is funded by mandatory funds and does not require an annual appropriation, but it does need to be reauthorized every several (usually five or ten) years.