Congress misses deadline to reauthorize childrens' health care program

Congress misses deadline to reauthorize childrens' health care program
© Getty

Congress missed a deadline to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) over the weekend, leaving federal funding to expire at the end of the month, according to ABC News.

Neither the House nor the Senate took up a vote to reauthorize the program, which helps states provide inexpensive health insurance to children in lower-income families.

ADVERTISEMENT

Congress was on track to miss the deadline earlier this week, and though the Senate released a bipartisan, five-year bill to reauthorize the program, a vote wasn’t scheduled.

The House Democratic Caucus chairman, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), blamed Republicans for missing the deadline in a tweet on Sunday and said CHIP should be a priority for Congress.

States won’t run out of CHIP funding in the immediate future. Three states and Washington, D.C., are expected to run out of money by December, and the majority of states will run out by March, according to a July report from the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission.

Another study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 10 states would run out money by the end of the year.

The deadline to reauthorize the program passed after Senate Republicans spent much of the last few weeks pushing to pass an ObamaCare repeal bill co-sponsored by Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care: Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid GOP senator: CBO moving the goalposts on ObamaCare mandate CNN to air sexual harassment Town Hall featuring Gretchen Carlson, Anita Hill MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCNN to air sexual harassment Town Hall featuring Gretchen Carlson, Anita Hill Trump wrestles with handling American enemy combatants Flake: Trump's call for DOJ to probe Democrats 'not normal' MORE (R-S.C.).

That bill wasn’t introduced for a vote on the Senate floor after three Republicans announced their opposition, killing its chance of passing.

A spokesperson for the House Energy and Commerce Committee said earlier this week that the committee “continue[s] to have bipartisan negotiations” to reauthorize CHIP as it considers combining CHIP funding with money for community health centers.