The Senate Finance Committee today passed bipartisan legislation to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for five years; the funding expired Oct. 1. The House also is considering CHIP funding legislation today; you can read our full story here at spokesman.com, and an AP report here on the House legislation.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., hailed the committee’s passage of the bill, saying, “We must never forget what this program means for millions of children and their families. We must keep the focus on covering kids and the adult population that go along with them in the most cost-effective way possible.”
Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said passage of the bill would ensure children on the program don’t see a lapse in coverage. “Extending funding for CHIP has been a top priority of this committee, and I am pleased to see the committee advance this policy today,” he said in a statement. “I will continue to work with Ranking Member Wyden and my colleagues to further advance this bill in a fiscally responsible manner to provide certainty for this critical, bipartisan program.”
The bill would continue the current federal matching rate for CHIP for two years, including an increase that was part of the Affordable Care Act; then, that rate would be lowered in 2020 and then returned to pre-ACA levels in 2021 and 2022. Cantwell filed an amendment to extend the current rate for all five years. Lindsay Nothern, spokesman for Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, said Crapo is supportive of the bill as passed by the committee, “barring unfavorable amendments being added later.”