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States Brace for Cutbacks in Kids’ Health Insurance Coverage

The fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act may have strained Congress’s ability to work in a bipartisan manner on most health care legislation, but the two sides will need to come together to renew funding for a program that provides health insurance for children or else risk leaving 1 million kids without coverage.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, which has had bipartisan support in the past, covers low- and moderate-income children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. The program’s funding expires Sept. 30, and states are beginning to get nervous about whether there will be continued resources for the program.

“If they fail to authorize [the funding], it’s a seismic event that just hurts children,” said Dan Mendelson, president at Avalere Health. But he added that Congress is likely to renew spending for CHIP because there are no good alternatives. “It’s hard to envision a work-around for most states,” he said.


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