Wednesday, November 8, 2017

CHIP Reauthorization Passes House

Drew Thies

A bill reauthorizing funding for children’s health insurance passed the House late last week. Community Health And Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation (CHAMPION) Act passed Friday by a vote of 242-174, largely along party lines.

The bill reauthorizes funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which lapsed at the end of October, for an additional five years, but pays for it by cutting provisions of the 2010 health care law—an offset that most Democrats opposed. "Democrats strongly support reauthorization of these programs -- but we reject the way Republicans are paying for them," said Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

If Democratic opposition holds, the legislation will stall in the Senate, where a 60-vote super majority is needed to avoid a filibuster. Alternative funding mechanisms may need to be put in place if Republican leadership is to find a bipartisan solution to restore funding to the popular program.

The impasse comes at a time where lawmakers are primarily focused on the high-profile effort to reform the tax code. Republican leadership have said they want to accomplish the task before the end of the year.

AHCA will continue to monitor the CHIP debate and any changes that are made to the offsets as the bill moves through the Senate.

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