Editorial: CHIP falls, jeopardizing health for 342,000 Florida kids

So intent were the Republicans in Congress on their latest gasp to gut Obamacare that they have threatened the health care of some 9 million children across the U.S., including almost 342,000 kids in Florida.

While all eyes were on the farcical Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the ever-dysfunctional Congress allowed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, to expire, on Sept. 30. Unless Congress acts quickly, states are projected to run out of program funding over the next 12 months. Florida’s funding is foreseen expiring sometime in January.

CHIP is a noncontroversial program, routinely renewed. It was originally co-sponsored in 1997 in a bipartisan way by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. The goal: Allow children from low-income families who live above the Medicaid threshold to obtain low-cost health insurance.

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