Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats Feb. 13 introduced separate bills that would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2019. Without Congressional action, federal support for CHIP expires at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2015.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced the Protecting and Retaining Our Children’s Health Insurance Program Act of 2015 (PRO-CHIP, S. 522), along with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). In a joint statement, Sen. Wyden noted that CHIP “provides a crucial lifeline to more than 10 million children, ensuring they have access to comprehensive, affordable health care.”
In the House, Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-Texas) were joined by all Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats in introducing The CHIP Extension and Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R. 919).
In addition to extending CHIP funding for four years, both bills would extend CHIP contingency funding to protect states that may experience a funding shortfall and extend outreach and enrollment grants.
The House bill also would extend through calendar year (CY) 2019 the primary care payment increase for Medicaid services established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152). Additionally, H.R. 919 would continue through FY 2019 the pediatric quality initiatives funded as part of the 2009 reauthorization of CHIP.