The Republican House is ready to head out early Thursday, while the Senate has spent the week away. No one in congressional leadership has acknowledged that every state is freaking the hell out of every state as they are trying to figure out budgets.
“CHIP has always had bipartisan support since it started 20 years ago,” said Jesse Cross-Call, senior policy analyst at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). “So it has really been a surprise that it’s taking this long to get it funded. Congress has never blown past the deadline before, so we’re in uncharted territory.”
Missing the deadline means an estimated 11 states will run out of federal CHIP money by the end of this year, and 32 states are expected to run out of money by March 2018, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. […]
Most states have passed final budgets for the next fiscal year with the assumption that CHIP would be reauthorized and they would be receiving federal funds. In addition, many states figured on a 23 percentage point increase in CHIP funding that was part of the Affordable Care Act.
As a result of all this, many states are scrambling to figure out how to keep their programs afloat until or if reauthorization takes place and how to notify residents that trouble is brewing.
Oh, and it’s not just children’s health. Community health center funding has also expired and clinics are sounding the alarm. A single clinic in Wausau, Wisconsin, the nonprofit Bridge Community Health Clinic, says that health care for 1,200 people is in jeopardy. Nationally, something like 25 million people could lose their only access to regular health care.
As bad as it is for the states, as bad as it is for the clinics, imagine it being your child whose health care is being held hostage by Republicans? Imagine having to rely on a community health clinic and finding its doors closed. Republicans are actively, purposefully playing with people’s lives.