House to Vote on CHIP Reauthorization Next Week

Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a vote on extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Recall earlier this month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a bill on a partisan vote that would extend CHIP funding for five years. Democrats voted against the measure citing concerns with some of the bill’s offsets, such as utilizing the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) to fund CHIP and increasing Medicare premiums for individuals with specified incomes.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Greg Walden (R-Oregon) delayed sending the approved bill to the House Floor to facilitate negotiations around funding mechanisms between House Republicans and Democrats. However, after weeks of negotiations, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) declared those negotiations unsuccessful and will be moving forward with a floor vote on the measure advanced by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Today, CSAC and CHEAC submitted a letter to all California members of the U.S. House of Representatives over opposition to using PPHF dollars to fund CHIP reauthorization. While we firmly support the reauthorization of CHIP, using PPHF would undermine the ability of counties to protect and promote the health of our communities.

The Senate Finance Committee also advanced a bipartisan five-year CHIP extension earlier this month, but funding sources have yet to be identified and a floor vote has not been set.

Though the CHIP Program expired at the end of September, a number of states had enough funding to continue the program for a short time. Several states could potentially run out of funding as early as November.