While Republicans were busy trying to repeal Obamacare this fall, they allowed funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to fall by the wayside. When it expired on September 30, GOP lawmakers claimed th at states would be fine through year's end and they would get around to funding it as soon as possible.
Fast forward to the present, where Republicans are now busy trying to pass tax reform, have not addressed CHIP funding, and states are running out of of money for their programs - some coffers will be empty by the end of January.
On Monday, working-class families in Colorado received letters encouraging them to look into private insurance options, as their children could soon be tossed off government health care. Several other states will send out similar letters this week.
CHIP is a popular program, well-liked by both Democrats and Republicans.
The program ensures that families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid — but don’t receive insurance through their employers — won’t go bankrupt if their children get sick.
It remains to be seen if the program will be funded before more damage is done, as so far Republicans have refused to allot the money outright:
Instead, they insist on financing children’s health care with cuts to other people’s medical benefits. House Republicans have already passed a bill that that raises money for CHIP by throwing an estimated 700,000 people off of Obamacare, for falling behind on their premium payments. That legislation has (predictably) stalled in the Senate.