On Monday night, Hillary Clinton expressed her strong support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, calling for the reauthorization of the expired program by the Congress. The deadline for federal funding to be provided for the program was September 30, possibly leaving millions of children without insurance.
In a series of tweets about CHIP that Clinton published, she said: “This hasn’t gotten enough [attention]: For the first time, Congress missed the deadline to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program,” The Hill reports.
She complimented the Senate Finance Committee for passing a bipartisan reauthorization bill, urging Congress to follow in their steps as soon as possible. The program was created in 1997 when Clinton was first lady and it was intended to provide children of low income families with health coverage. It now covers over 9 million children, after being expanded as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2009.
With Congress missing the deadline, it is expected that three states, as well as Washington D.C., will run out of funding by December, another ten by the end of the year, whereas most of the other states by March 2018.
The deadline passed while Senate Republicans were making efforts to repeal ObamaCare, which never made it to the Senate floor due to three Republicans opposing it.
It is still possible for lawmakers to do something to continue the funding of the program, however they must make a move shortly to prevent a significant number of children from losing their healthcare.
States facing funding shortfalls will have to hold special legislative sessions to decide how to proceed operating their CHIP programs in case they are left without funding. If this happens, states may terminate CHIP coverage making it inevitable for many children to be transferred to their parent’s employee plans, while others would no longer be insured.