Doug Jones cosponsors bill to renew CHIP funding

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After Congress provided short-term funding, CT reopened enrollment in CHIP and indicated coverage would continue through February up until March 1, according to Kaiser. The program helps almost 9 million low-income children with healthcare insurance. Some states could see their financial resources run dry for children's health insurance coverage by the end of this month. It serves about 9 million children nationwide each year, and states have some discretion in setting their income eligibility standards, and eligibility varies across states.

However, funding for CHIP expired more than three months ago, and Congress has yet to approve long-term funding. Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the state Health and Human Services Commission, said Texas can keep the program afloat thanks to $248 million in funding allocated through a short-term spending bill passed by Congress last month.

Dr. Joanne Hilden, a pediatric cancer physician in Aurora, Colo., and past president of the American Society of Hematology-Oncology, said the families of cancer patients who depend on CHIP are in a hard position because they can't schedule care to be finished before program funding runs out. "To let our Congress people know that it's time that the program is renewed and that we're standing up for children and families in our city", said Dr. 30, but states have had unspent money in the interim, and Congress. But that is a drastic step, since the federal government pays on average almost 90 percent of CHIP costs.

The Senate Finance Committee reached an agreement to extend the program for five years but did not unite around a plan on funding. Another 13 states are expected to run out of funds the following month.

Trump Tax Cuts
President Donald Trump celebrates with Congressional Republicans after Congress passed tax reform in December 2017. Reuters Carlos Barria

Essentially, killing the mandate dramatically raises premiums in Obamacare's individual market, which is where millions of low-income families now enrolled in CHIP would have to turn were the program to disappear.

"It's creating a lot of anxiety about not having insurance and the kids getting sick", she said.

"This is good news in the short term, but Congress needs to get moving on a clean, 5-year CHIP extension as soon as possible", said Anne Dunkelberg, associate director for the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, in an emailed statement. But former Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who strongly supported the program as First Lady when it was enacted in 1997, put the onus on him to advance legislation. States are now faced with shutting down the program. "With this news, securing kids' health care for the long-term should be a no-brainer".

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