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The program is about to run out of funding as Congress fights over extending it.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, lacking long-term funding authorization since October, is about to start running out of money.

The program, which covers 9 million American children, is at the center of Congress’s government shutdown showdown this week. Republicans are attaching a six-year CHIP extension to a short-term spending bill in a gambit to deter Democrats from shutting down the government over an immigration impasse. Democrats are furious, given that the majority has allowed the program to go without long-term funding for this long.

The reality on the ground, though, is that the Trump administration has said state reserves for CHIP could start to dry up as soon as Friday — maybe, at best, the current funding could last through the end of the month. But after that, without congressional action, kids could be frozen out of health coverage or dropped off the rolls.

Congress has been courting disaster with CHIP, failing to extend funding long-term when it ran out in September. States have begged them to act, and Congress approved a package in December to help states keep running their programs through March. But the short-term relief is insufficient to last that long.

“We appreciate that Congress included funding for CHIP in the continuing resolution that runs through January 19, 2018,” Johnathan Monroe, a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a recent statement. “However … we are unable to say with certainty whether there is enough funding for every state to continue its CHIP program through March 31, 2018.”

Based on the administration’s estimates, the short-term CHIP money should be enough to fund all states through January 19 or possibly the end of the month.

Several states, including Connecticut and Colorado, have notified Read More Here