The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a continuing resolution that includes additional funding for the state-level Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
H.R. 3922 will provide short-term funding for CHIP and includes financial support for additional programs addressing community health, service corps operations, medical educational facilities and a diabetes initiative. Funding for all entities had expired at the end of September, according to a House Energy and Commerce Committee press release.
The action will enable the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to handle funding distribution more efficiently; the expenditures will be counterbalanced by insurance reforms and related cost reductions, the release said.
Representatives leading the legislation — committee chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon) and health subcommittee chairman Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) — expressed concern regarding the urgency of funding needs in relation to Congressional pacing.
“Once again, the House has acted to make available short-term relief for states in desperate need of CHIP funds while our fully funded House-passed package languishes in the Senate,” Walden and Burgess said in the release. “It is incredibly disappointing that our colleagues couldn’t come together before the end of the year to advance a long-term extension of CHIP and these critical public health priorities. As we continue our bipartisan, bicameral negotiations, we must act quickly to fund this vital program. Children and their families can’t keep putting their lives on hold.”