Congress Drops The Ball On Reauthorizing CHIP

By on September 29, 2017
Sen. Claire McCaskill says CHIP likely will expire.

Congressional Republicans have spent so much of the past few weeks trying to take healthcare away from millions of Americans that they have largely ignored the deadline to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is set to expire Saturday. Ironically, their inaction, at least for the time being, will accomplish their goal of un-insuring a large part of the American population.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is one of the leading Democrats working on health care. In a Thursday interview with Talking Points Memo, she confirmed that CHIP will likely not be re-authorized before the Saturday deadline.

“I’m confident the money will come but obviously it’s not going to come on time,” she said. “There will be cash flow problems for a lot of states that don’t have any cushion in terms of cash flow. I hope they have ways to manage that.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) says that Congress should have been focused on getting CHIP reauthorized instead of another failed Obamacare repeal attempt.

“If I had had my way, we would have spent our week working on getting a Children’s Health insurance plan passed,” he said. He added:

Regrettably, we had to spend a lot of our time trying to finally push back on Trumpcare 2.0. Let me tell you what the consequences are. Different states are affected in different ways, but we had testimony in the committee from a mom who said, ‘If the money runs out, I’m going to have trouble figuring out how to pay for prescriptions for my kid.’

Additionally, the White House has continued to harm the insurance market by not committing to making Obamacare’s cost-sharing payments (CSR) — money that helps subsidize premiums for many individuals — for the long term.

“This is an administration that makes a big deal about saying they’re for private health care and the business community,” Wyden said. “And what does the private sector care about the most? Certainty and predictability. But for months and months, the president of the United States has been pouring gasoline into the private health care marketplace.”

You can add CHIP to the list of things the GOP is pouring gasoline on as well. If it expires, many low-income families will not be able to afford doctor visits, prescriptions, or other medical care for their children. For a party that claims to be pro-life, it sure does everything it can to hurt kids.