Should kids' health program be extended?

Congressional leaders are asking governors if the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should be extended before it is set to run out of funds next year. 

Top lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Finance Committee wrote to all 50 governors Tuesday asking for details on how they administer the CHIP program and what the impact might be if the program were to end.

ADVERTISEMENT
“After the end of the Fiscal Year 2015, under current law, there are no new funds for CHIP,” said the lawmakers. “As the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Congressional committees with jurisdiction over the CHIP program, we are considering whether and how the program should be extended, and what, if any additional policy changes should be made.”

Specifically they want to know how many children benefit from the CHIP program in each state, how the Affordable Care Act has affected the program, what services the program offers that are not available through the health exchanges and employer-provided insurance plans, and whether there are additional steps lawmakers could take to reduce the number of uninsured children.

The letter was signed by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and ranking member Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and ranking member Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).