Lost In The Daca Battle: CHIP Is Funded For The Next 6 Years

After being a political football for 116 days CHIP is funded for six years 

After waiting for nearly six months the Senate voted 81-15 to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program for an additional six years. The passing of the funding could not have come soon enough for the thousands of kids in Florida and around the country who rely on the health care CHIP has provided poor kids of all ages.

It is stunning that Congress let CHIP twist in the wind for an amazing 114 days. This bi-partisan legislation crafted back in 1997 by Republican Sen. Orin Hatch and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy has been passed each year without fail each year.

That was until 2017 and things began too real political. The program’s budget came up for re-authorization in September, however, things seemed to be different. The program got caught up in heated political negotiations about the future of some of the most polarizing issues in Congress: Obamacare and immigration policy.

In the fall of 2017 a GOP plan to extend the CHIP program for an additional five years. But that plan included a series of deeply partisan spending cuts to cover the costs of extending CHIP — such as slashing Obamacare programs and Medicare — and Democrats refused to support the bill.

By Monday morning, however, there was a breakthrough: Senate Democrats agreed to support a three-week budget extension of the federal budget — with the six-year extension of CHIP.

The political football game is over and CHIP is safe for another six years. It is nice to see a happy ending that will help kid’s health care with some budget safety.

 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved with Berman Concerts and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.