Fed extension gives Mass. CHIP funding through March

Vice President Mike Pence right shakes hands with Sen. Doug Jones D-Ala. left after administering the Senate oath of office during a mock swearing in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber to Jones with his wife Louise Jones second from right Wednesda

The GOP tax overhaul's repeal of the individual mandate has unexpectedly saved the Children's Health Insurance Program at the 11th hour-and has added at least a year to the funding extension.

The report suggested it may be hard to accurately predict exactly when funding will run out because Congress has tinkered with the rules used to redistribute unspent money to states.

After Congress provided short-term funding, CT reopened enrollment in CHIP and indicated coverage would continue through February up until March 1, according to Kaiser. "Congress has a unique opportunity to protect and stabilize the health coverage for the 9 million children that receive care through CHIP while simultaneously reducing the federal deficit by $6 billion in this decade and an estimated $20 billion over two decades", says Bruce Lesley of the Washington-based advocacy group First Focus.

The federal government paid almost $14.5 billion for CHIP expenses in fiscal 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Cornyn has previously promised funding for CHIP was imminent. The CHIP benefits allow him to continue his work as a civil rights attorney, providing free representation for people with disabilities. Any spending bill that Congress takes up must include long-term funding for CHIP. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tweeted Wednesday.

The Senate Finance Committee reached an agreement to extend the program for five years but didn't unite on a funding plan.

Last month's temporary budget fix, H.R. 1370, also provided $550 million for community health centers that serve more than 25 million, many in struggling communities - enough to last only through March 31. That policy is expected to make the premiums in the Obamacare marketplaces more expensive - which means the federal government would have to spend more money subsidizing those premiums for low- and middle-income enrollees.

Child health-care advocates have long complained that the KidCare program is not user-friendly because of the number of agencies involved, including the Department of Children and Families, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health and the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation.

CHIP needs to regain long-term funding. Every Child Matters, a non-partisan non-profit, urged the public to call on their elected representatives to "act immediately on a 5-year CHIP reauthorization". I have long supported the CHIP program.

A third of the states anticipate running out of funds by the end of January, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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