Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families (CCF) predicted in a report this month that 11 states would run out of CHIP funding before the end of February if Congress doesn't approve a long-term solution.
Jones became the 24 co-sponsor of the bill, the Keep Kids' Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act of 2017.
Officials at Nemours/A.I. Dupont Hospital for Children said the hospital saw about 6,000 children on CHIP in the previous year for issues ranging from asthma to terminal illnesses, and many of them have special health care needs.
The stall in funding for CHIP, a federally funded program that covers moderately low-income children in the USA, leaves almost nine million children and their families in a worrisome limbo.
Dr. Joanne Hilden, a pediatric cancer physician in Aurora, Colo., and past president of the American Society of Hematology-Oncology, said cancer patients who are anxious their CHIP funding will run out can't schedule care ahead of time. It covers about 9 million children, including 2 million in California. But after Congress approved a short-term spending plan on December 21, ALL Kids withdrew those warnings for the time being.
It has now been more than 100 days since the Republican-controlled Congress allowed funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to lapse, and despite several infusions of stopgap funding from both Capitol Hill and the Department of Health and Human Services, states could run out of money as early as next week. On Thursday, the office said renewing CHIP would actually create a "net savings because the federal costs of the alternatives to providing coverage through CHIP. are larger than the costs of providing coverage through CHIP during that period". But if CHIP comes back, the parent is the only one to remain on the policy, facing a cost for the coverage. The House plan includes a controversial provision - opposed by Democrats - that takes millions of dollars from the Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund and increases Medicare premiums for some higher-earning beneficiaries. (It's a five-year funding bill.) But no matter.
Already, some states have begun to send out notices to families warning them that their children's insurance may no longer be available in the coming months. They may not know that the state-branded programs they use, such as BadgerCare Plus in Wisconsin, Healthy Kids in Florida and All Kids in Alabama, are all part of CHIP. Before the short-term funding patch, federal officials redistributed reserve funds to states to keep their programs running. Many can not afford coverage in the private market.
"If you think about a world with no CHIP, a lot of families would still want to have their kids covered, so they would look for private insurance in the individual market", he explained. "We're going to have lower coverage for parents than we used to". "They might not have a family physician, or a clear support system". Murkowski said health care costs should be a priority.