Congress punts on children's welfare


Families can afford to take their kids to the doctor for preventive care, meaning that potential health problems are headed off before they become serious, making them less costly to treat when kids do get sick.

Kimmel teared up as he reassured his audience that Billy was fine, and took the opportunity to call out Congress for failing to renew CHIP, or the Children's Health Insurance Plan, which provides coverage to the kids of families who don't qualify for Medicaid, but do not receive health benefits through their employer."It nearly certainly covers children you know", Kimmel said.

The state announced Monday that it would no longer enroll children in its "ALL Kids" program for low-income children, starting on January 1, because Congress has not yet reauthorized funding for the program.

Lawmakers came through with the money, in order to avoid having to send out Christmas notifications to almost half a million children that they would be losing their health care.

Discussions about funding seem to center on whether funds for CHIP should be taken out of other areas in the budget and whether funding should be allocated for several years or one year at a time. Kaiser Family Foundation reports some three quarters of states may run out CHIP funding by the end of March. Congress let the program's authorization expire on September 30.

"Cooler heads will prevail", he said.

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Across the country, almost 9 million children are affected.

State officials also said it would end coverage for enrollees February 1 unless Congress acts. In addition to the 66,000 children who would lose coverage entirely, approximately 59,000 Virginia children would be switched to Medicaid if CHIP is not funded, McAuliffe said.

But state reauthorization does little good as long as Congress refuses to release federal funds. In Pennsylvania, federal funding covers about 90 percent of the $450 million cost, according to Wolf's office.

It's hard to tell exactly how numerous Children's Clinic's patients receive CHIP because in California, those children's benefits are administered through Medi-Cal, so it's not exactly clear how they are receiving coverage when they visit a doctor, Nicholas said.

"It's different this time", Cathy Caldwell, the director of the Bureau of Children's Health Insurance Programs in Alabama, told ThinkProgress.

From 2013 to 2016, the number of uninsured children in California dropped 60 percent to some 268,000 children, according to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.