Bill Passes House to Fund CHIP
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program for five more years. All three of West Virginia’s representatives voted in favor of the bill.
Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, more commonly known as CHIP, expired on September 30th due to Congressional inaction. CHIP provides insurance to 9 million children, including more than 20,000 West Virginians.
A bill to fund the program has been languishing for several weeks in the Senate.
The House voted along party lines to extend CHIP funding through September of 2022. The bill also contains two years of funding for community health centers, whose funding similarly lapsed at the end of September.
However, the House version of the bill calls for extending funding to CHIP by charging higher Medicare premiums to seniors earning more than 500-thousand-dollars, and redirecting money from the Affordable Care Act’s prevention and public health fund to community health centers - a proposal that has been met with severe criticism from House Democrats.
The bill now goes to the Senate, but is not expected to pass as is.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.