When Congress let the September 30 deadline to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), many states were hopeful that lawmakers would quickly rectify the situation. Now, with state funding running dangerously low, they are still hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
Nearly 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women could soon find themselves uninsured. Currently, because of the CHIP program, the uninsured rate among children is at 4.5%, a record low.
According to Georgetown University’s Center on Children and Families, five states and the District of Columbia will run out of funds for CHIP by the end of December.
Colorado has announced that they will start sending out letters to CHIP enrollees, giving them options for what will happen if the program runs out of funds, which could happen as early as January.
Virginia is also planning to send letters to families enrolled in CHIP. Per Linda Nablo, chief deputy director at Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services, “Everybody is still waiting and thinking Congress is going to act, and they probably will, but you can’t run a health-care program that way. You can’t say ‘probably’ everything is going to be all right.”
The Republican lawmakers in Washington have been so busy trying to push through a terrible tax reform plan, and dealing with their shady orange leader, they’ve forgotten about their actual job.
We elect lawmakers to make good choices for us, the citizens, not to enact self-serving tax reforms. Not only does the will of the American people become second in importance, Congress can’t even be counted upon to help those children who are literally incapable of helping themselves.