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On children's health coverage, congressional inaction has brought us to the 'nightmare scenario'

Child healthcare advocates have been warning, and warning, and warning that Congress’ delay on reauthorizing funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program places health coverage for as many as 9 million children and pregnant women at risk. But since the funding expired Sept. 30, there has been no action by Congress.

Now, advocates say, “the nightmare scenario is close” for states across the country, to quote former Medicare and Medicaid chief Andrew Slavitt, as the state-federal program runs out of federal money. State officials in Colorado started sending letters to families on CHIP as early as Monday, warning them that their kids’ health insurance could run out Jan. 30 and they should “start researching private health insurance options.” If Congress doesn’t vote within two weeks to resume the program’s $15 billion in annual funding, the state officials said, they would send out official notification of the program’s cancellation.


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