Last weekend, the Republican Congress allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as known as the CHIP program, to lapse without reauthorizing. That had the affect of immediately ending all federal funding for the various state CHIP programs throughout the country.
Last fiscal year, Delaware got $32 million dollars in program funding in the last fiscal year. The budget passed a little bit late assumed that funding would be there again. As it stands now, Delaware has enough funds in its CHIP program to sustain it until March 2018, according to the studies by the independent Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) and the Kaiser Family Foundation. At that point, the Republicans will have literally left 18,000 innocent kids without health coverage, either to their malignant incompetence or purposeful malice.
Sen. Chris Coons said he hopes Congress will move quickly to authorize the program. Obviously he has not been paying attention to the criminality of the Republican Party and their propensity to hold people hostage during his seven years in Congress. And that is their plan for CHIP: to hold these kids hostage to get more cuts to healthcare:
After allowing CHIP to expire, House Republicans are proposing a new bill to fund the program. At first glance it looks appealing. By taking Medicaid away from lottery winners who don’t need it and charging higher Medicare premiums to wealthy seniors who can afford it, the bill funds CHIP for 5 years. It even promises an extra $1 billion in Medicaid funding to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
But Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told me that while “kids and Puerto Rico are two significant priorities,” he is “concerned about having Medicare patients and low-income people pay for this [bill].”
Slavitt has a point. There are deeply disturbing details within the bill. The lottery winner clause, for example, appears to be a gimmick. It only accounts for $400 million in expected savings while the bill earns $5 billion by shortening the payment grace period for ACA marketplace premiums from 90 to 30 days.
This disproportionately hurts low income Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. In fact, with anticipated penalties and interest charges for late payments, the bill stealthily charges a tax on those who can least afford it.
Moreover, the bill saves $5.5 billion by making cuts to the ACA’s prevention and public health fund and another $4 billion by adjusting Medicaid’s third party liability policy. These further cuts serve to undermine both the ACA and Medicaid.