Sen. Rockefeller Pushes for Four More Years of CHIP Funding
On June 11, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced legislation that would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through fiscal year 2019. Absent Congressional action, funds for the CHIP program will expire on September 30, 2015.
Rockefeller noted that while many presume children enrolled in the CHIP program will be transitioned to their parent’s health insurance coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, as many as 2 million children could end up uninsured if the funding program expired. He also noted that the rest of the more than 8 million children who are now covered by CHIP might get more limited coverage or face higher out-of-pocket costs in private insurance.
Rockefeller’s bill, the CHIP Extension Act of 2014 (S. 2461), would go beyond the recommendation of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), which voted April 11 to recommend to Congress that it extend CHIP funding through fiscal year 2017. Among other provisions, Rockefeller’s bill would maintain the 23 percent fiscal 2016 “CHIP match” increase authorized under the ACA. Getting significant health care legislation through Congress will be difficult, however, even on an issue like CHIP, which has often enjoyed bipartisan support in the past. In the House, lawmakers have not yet reached agreement on an alternative CHIP extension bill.