Kids’ health-care program lapses
Congress missed a deadline this week to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health coverage to 8.9 million low-income children. CHIP, which lapsed Sept. 30, has broad bipartisan support, but reauthorization was pushed to the back burner in Washington amid GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Although no child is expected to lose his or her health insurance immediately, because states have reserves of CHIP funding they can draw on, 10 states are at risk of running out of money in the next two months, including California and Mississippi. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are now working on bills to extend CHIP funding by five years, while phasing out a 23 percent funding increase provided through Obamacare.