Parties fight over funding children’s health insurance program that expired – Chicago Tribune

Republicans pushed a bill extending financing for a popular health insurance program for children through a House committee Wednesday, but partisan divisions over how to pay for it suggest that congressional approval will take time despite growing pressure on lawmakers to act.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the measure on a party-line 28-23 vote. The program covers 8.9 million low-income children, and a renewal of funds for it seems virtually inevitable.

But four days after the program’s federal funding expired, the bill’s problems were underscored as Democrats opposed GOP plans for financing the extension and a related community health center bill.

The GOP cuts include trimming a public health fund established under former President Barack Obama‘s health care law and making it harder for people buying individual health coverage to avoid paying premiums. They would also raise Medicare premiums on seniors earning more than $500,000 annually, make it harder for lottery winners to qualify for Medicaid and strengthen how the government gets reimbursements from private insurers.

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