A Failure to Renew CHIP Funding Could Cost $6 Billion

It is no secret that Congressional Republicans have been hellbent on doing a hatchet job to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. With Donald Trump occupying the White House and Republicans dominating the Hill, some conservatives hoped that this would finally come to pass, but it simply hasnít managed to happen — at least, not yet.

Perhaps the only real victory for the Trump administration in its first year came in the form of a rather significant tax reform bill. Though complex and varied, one important component of the bill involved dropping the health insurance mandate.

In a nutshell, this mandate previously stated that Americans above a certain income threshold who were not insured would be required to pay a tax. The purpose of this was two-fold: It created incentives for people to get insured and — to a lesser extent — it helped fund the core of the ACA: Medicaid expansion. Removing this mandate has but one purpose: to undermine the ACA financially.

Though not connected directly to the ACA, the Childrenís Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, now faces a similar financial roadblock. Today, CHIP allows roughly 9 million children access to health care who might otherwise†go without.

As it stands currently, Congress has been unable — or unwilling — to come to an agreement on how to fund various programs, including CHIP. And because of this, the program might be facing serious operational setbacks in several states this year.

The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan group, crunched the numbers and in a publicly released memo estimates that extending CHIP for five years would†cost a mere $800 million. When it comes to federal spending,†that’s a drop in the bucket.

However, more recently, a leaked CBO memo revised this figure to suggest that reauthorizing CHIP funding could ultimately save federal taxpayer dollars over the course of a decade — as much as $6 billion.

And this is where things get a little complex. In all likelihood, children who are no longer insured through CHIP will be granted subsidized insurance through the ACA marketplace. As the leaked CBO memo suggests,†that’s because†it would ultimately be more expensive than covering these children via CHIP. These expenses are also likely compounded thanks to the axing of the ACA mandate.

Regardless, it seems like keeping CHIP around — a program that has helped so many children and their low-income families — is a no-brainer. While members of Congress twiddle their thumbs, many families across America are wondering if their children will have health insurance next month.

Photo Credit: Luma Pimentel/Unsplash

57 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

thanks

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John B
John B6 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Past Member
Past Member 7 months ago

ty

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Mike A
.7 months ago

If 400,000 anchor babies would not be born in our country, costing us $109 billion per year per cycle. At least 86 hospitals in California, Georgia and Florida would still be operating instead of being bankrupt out of existence because illegals pay nothing via the EMTOLA Act.

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Shirley S
Shirley S7 months ago

Noted

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Angela J
Angela J7 months ago

Thanks

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Daniela M
Daniela M7 months ago

Gosh... Thank you for sharing with us.

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Mark T
Mark T7 months ago

Ty.

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Adele E Zimmermann
Adele E Zimmermann7 months ago

Every dollar invested in the health of our children will be repaid many times over. There will be money saved that will not be spent on correcting the results of childhood medical issues not addressed. Children will learn better, will be more successful and will be less involved with our Criminal Justice system. Failure to invest in childhood health would be economic suicide.

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heather g
heather g7 months ago

How does he sleep at night?

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