It would cost $800 million to extend kids’ health insurance. That’s 0.1 percent of the price of the tax overhaul.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a cheap, successful program that provides health care coverage to 9 million low- and middle-income children. Its budget expired 101 days ago — and Republicans in Congress have done next to nothing about it.
Multiple states have sent out letters warning families that their kids’ health insurance could end on January 31. Congress did pass a temporary bill that it expected to extend CHIP’s life span until March — but it turns out they got the math wrong, and states may run out of funding as early as January 19. Eleven days from now.
In the meantime, Congress managed to pass a tax bill along party lines that will give about $1.5 trillion in tax breaks to corporations and the very wealthy. How did they pay for it? They didn’t. The cost is piled onto the deficit.
Democrats and Republicans have agreed, in principle, on a plan to reauthorize CHIP’s funding for five years. But Republicans proposed a series of deeply partisan spending cuts to cover the costs of extending CHIP — such as slashing Obamacare programs and Medicare — that have stalled negotiations.
States are having very real discussions about the possibility that the 20-year-old program will shut down. If it does, the kids on CHIP don’t have a safety net. The CHIP program is their safety net. Time is running out, and Congress is doing nothing.
Republicans have displayed stunning hypocrisy
Republicans in Congress have said that extending CHIP costs too much. At the time, the estimated cost was $8 billion — and it has since dropped to $800 million.
“The reason CHIP is having trouble [passing] is because we don’t have money anymore,” Sen. Read More Here