Three weeks and counting: As Congress dithers on children’s health program, more states face crisis – Los Angeles Times

Congress has hardly slathered itself with glory in its current session, but among its most shameful failures surely is its failure to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides coverage for about 9 million low-income children and pregnant women.

As we’ve reported before, Congress failed to renew CHIP before its previous two-year reauthorization expired on Sept. 30. The clock has now ticked off more than three weeks without a vote, with nothing further scheduled for at least another week.

Most states had enough in their program accounts to carry them through to the end of the year or even into the first quarter of next year. But as the delay stretches on, more states are being forced to come to grips with the absence of funding in the near term.

Last week, Virginia officials announced that they would have to start issuing notices by the beginning of December to the households of 65,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women that they faced disenrollment from CHIP. That’s to give the families 60 days’ notice that they’ll lose coverage when funding runs out at the end of January.


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