Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Tuesday announced that they have reached a deal to extend federal funding for CHIP for five years.
Federal funding for CHIP—which covers about 9.2 million low-income U.S. children and pregnant women—is set to expire at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017 on Sept. 30. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased federal funding for CHIP by 23 percent and authorized the extra funding to continue through September 2019. According to the Associated Press, the federal government allocates about $7 billion annually for CHIP.
According to AP, the bipartisan deal would phase out the additional federal funds provided to states under the ACA. States under the deal would continue to receive the extra funds at current levels for the next two years. The additional funding would decline to a share of 11.5 percent in 2020 and would be completely eliminated by 2021.
Hatch said states would have "increased flexibility" under the deal to decide how to run CHIP, but did not provide further details. He said the deal would "continue to advance" CHIP "in a way that does not add to the [federal] deficit."
The senators said they would release legislative text to reauthorize CHIP in the "coming days," Axios' "Vitals" reports. It is unclear whether the deal will be introduced as a standalone bill or combined with another measure, according to the AP. It also is unclear whether the deal will have enough support to pass Congress, though Democrats and Republicans historically have supported CHIP.
Hatch in a statement said he is "hopeful we can move forward swiftly to ensure no lapse in care for our nation's most vulnerable children."
Likewise, Wyden in a statement said he hopes to get CHIP reauthorized "as soon as possible" (Fram, AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/12; HHS Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Brief, accessed 9/13; Beech, Reuters, 9/12; Weixel, The Hill, 9/12; Baker, "Vitals," Axios, 9/13).
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