On Friday the House of Representatives plowed ahead on passing their version of a CHIP reauthorization which Democrats mostly opposed. The measure was approved by a vote of 242 to 174. The bill (HR 3922) would extend CHIP for five years but would extend community health center funding for only two years. Democrats are opposing this version of the bill because of the way it is paid for. The proposed offset includes a cut ACA health prevention funding. It also would use revenue from a tax increase on higher earning Medicare recipients.
The Senate bill, S. 1827, the KIDS Act, introduced by Senator Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden, would provide approximately $120 billion in funding for children’s health coverage for five years. Those provision matches with the House bill. The Senate has continued to show little to no progress in negotiating how they would pay for their version.
CHIP is funded by mandatory funds and does not require an annual appropriation, but it does need to be reauthorized every few years. In recent years the law has provided some reserve funds to prevent unexpected shortfalls for the 50 states. Some states are precariously close to running out and they have never been placed in this position as CHIP has had bipartisan reauthorizations in its 17 year-plus history.