Kaine Urges Congress to Re-Authorize Children's Health Insurance Program

Kaine Urges Congress to Re-Authorize Children's Health Insurance Program”

The House has approved legislation providing five more years of financing for an expired children's health program.

Fresh federal money for the health insurance program stopped on October 1.

Even so, states including Arizona, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and the District of Columbia are expected to deplete that money by late December or in January. As Republicans repeatedly pointed out on the House floor Friday, Democrats were voting to protect seniors making $40,000 a month from paying about $135 more.

Bipartisan House negotiations broke down over series of controversial offsets, such as cutting more than $6 billion from Obamacare's prevention and public health fund, which pays for things like access to vaccines, opioids prevention and efforts to fight disease. They say that would undermine Medicare finances and erode political support for it.

The bill that passed Friday 242-174 ― with 227 Republicans and 15 Democrats voting yes, and 171 Democrats and 3 Republicans voting no ― nearly certainly won't become law. Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats have not thrown their support behind the bill (HR 3922), due to disagreements over the offsets, which would change Medicare, Medicaid and provisions of the 2010 health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). "And vote against kids, vote against their hospitals and vote against their doctors".

If Republicans get away with raising Medicare premiums to pay for CHIP, the door is then open to premiums being raised for a variety of reasons as Republicans are eyeing up privatization of Medicare as their long-term goal, but the immediate problem is the almost three quarters of a million people who will have no health insurance if this bill is signed into law. Senators have agreed on a bill extending the program's money for five more years but remain divided over how to pay for it.

"Now House Republicans are using the reauthorization of CHIP and community health centers as a way to once again sabotage the ACA", Pallone said. That measure seems likely to become home for a host of compromises. "This bill is going nowhere".

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