CHIP Extension Needed Despite Healthcare Reform, Panel Says

Congress should extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program because millions of lower-income children could lose coverage if the program ends next year, members of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission said Thursday.

Congress should extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program because millions of lower-income children could lose coverage if the program ends next year, members of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission said Thursday.

The panel, which makes recommendations to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP matters, took no formal vote, but the clear consensus was that lawmakers should extend federal funding for the program before it ends Oct. 1, 2015. After MacPAC staff delivered a report indicating that an extension is needed, the commission members made comments showing their agreement, with no dissenting comments.

The program, established in 1997 with bipartisan congressional support, serves about 8 million children in families earning up to 200% of the federal poverty level. During the drafting of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Senate Democratic leaders persuaded House Democratic leaders to agree to extending CHIP through 2015.

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Source: Modern Healthcare