Insurance program for low-income kids faces uncertainty
BOSTON -- A health care program that covers children from low- and moderate-income families could dry up, potentially leaving millions uninsured, without renewed federal support.
Lawmakers in Massachusetts are bracing for that possibility, should Congress let funding lapse or tighten eligibility rules for the Children's Health Insurance Program. But plans for the state to pick up the tab, which could run in the hundreds of millions of dollars, face an uphill battle.
Federal support for the program serving families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid is set to expire Sept. 30. Unless Congress votes to renew funding, advocates say 8.4 million children nationally -- including about 160,000 in Massachusetts -- could be left without affordable health care coverage.