Clinton: Short-term CHIP extension ‘doesn’t cut it’
Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called on Senate Republicans to bring a full extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to the floor for a vote.
“This alleged extension until March doesn’t cut it as states freeze enrollment & send out letters warning that coverage will end,” the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee tweeted.
Time to bring CHIP to the Senate floor as promised. This alleged extension until March doesn’t cut it as states freeze enrollment & send out letters warning that coverage will end. This is frightening to parents & wreaks havoc for states. https://t.co/tWtm211w8S
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 2, 2018
Funding for CHIP expired at the end of September, and Congress has been locked in a partisan stalemate over how to pay for its renewal. Both parties support the program, but they have been unable to agree on how to offset its cost.
The House passed a five-year reauthorization earlier this year, but Democrats decried the legislation’s offsets. The Senate Finance Committee approved a bipartisan bill but never released how to pay for it.
Just prior to Christmas, Congress passed a short-term spending bill that extended CHIP through March 31, but states are likely to run out of money before then.
Even if the new funding keeps the program afloat, experts say it sends a negative message to enrollees, which could cause long-term implications.
“Families across America had to start 2018 worried that their kids wouldn’t have health care. Failing to act now shows the true face of Republicans & their donor-driven immoral agenda. You control the Senate agenda @SenateMajLdr. Enough is enough,” Clinton added.
States had been getting by with leftover federal dollars while they examined how much longer they could keep their children’s health programs up and running.
This is not the first time that Clinton has spoken out on the topic.
In December, she tweeted that she would “keep tweeting about [CHIP], and speaking out every chance I get, until it is fixed.”
Some state governments have sent letters to families saying they could lose coverage for their children if Congress doesn’t provide new funding for CHIP.
Government funding will now expire Jan. 19, and a long-term CHIP reauthorization is one of the major issues lawmakers will face when they return to Washington.