Currently Viewing:
Newsroom

Trump CHIP Tweet Causes Confusion Ahead of Shutdown Vote

Allison Inserro
President Donald Trump may have inched the government closer to a federal shutdown when he tweeted Thursday morning that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—the program that funds healthcare for millions of low-income children—should be part of a long-term solution and not part of a short-term spending bill.
President Donald Trump may have inched the government closer to a federal shutdown when he tweeted Thursday morning that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—the program that funds healthcare for millions of low-income children—should be part of a long-term solution and not part of a short-term spending bill.

The tweet contradicted Republican strategy to avoid the shutdown by adding a 6-year extension to fund CHIP to the short-term spending bill scheduled to be voted on in the House as early as Thursday.

The tweet also contradicted his own administration’s official statement Wednesday that the White House approved of the stopgap measure, including the extension of funding for CHIP.



Unless a spending bill is passed by midnight Friday, the federal government will shut down for the first time since 2013, except this time it would happen under both a Republican-controlled legislative branch and executive office.

Funding for CHIP expired last September 30, and although both sides agree it is needed, they disagree about how to pay for it. The first temporary funding was included in a spending bill last year, but the money is rapidly running out.

Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation drastically lowered their estimate of what it will take to fund the CHIP because of 3 factors related to the tax law changes affecting the Affordable Care Act that basically make it cheaper to insure children through CHIP than through insurance marketplaces. The CBO said that funding CHIP for 10 years will cost just $800 million—$7.5 billion less than the budget watchdog estimated in October 2017.

But CHIP has become another bargaining chip in the spending bill battle between Republicans and Trump, and Republicans and Democrats, along with a bill for young immigrants known as “dreamers” who face deportation as Trump has ended protections started by President Obama.

Democrats are under pressure to vote against the spending bill if immigrant protections are not included, and Republicans included CHIP in the spending bill to try and force the Democrats to vote for it.

“We don’t have a reliable partner at the White House to negotiate with,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) told the Washington Post

“This has turned into an s-show for no good reason, and the only way out of this thing is to grow up a little bit—and I think that’s going to happen,” he said.

 
Copyright AJMC 2006-2019 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
x
Welcome the the new and improved AJMC.com, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up