HomeWashington Letter2017 ▶ House Votes to Extend CHIP Funding Renewal
House Votes to Extend CHIP Funding Renewal

The House of Representatives today passed legislation on a partisan vote of 242 – 174 to renew funding for the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Federal CHIP funds for states officially ran out on Sept. 30, 2017, and some states, such as Arizona and Ohio, will exhaust their available funding in less than 60 days. The legislation also includes renewals for community health centers and the National Health Service Corps program and $1 billion in Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

CHIP insures about nine million children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Since CHIP’s creation, the number of uninsured children in the U.S. has fallen from 14 percent in 1997 to under 5 percent in 2017.

The House bill, called the Championing Healthy Kids Act, extends CHIP funding for five years but includes mechanisms to pay for the bill that Democrats strongly opposed, including a 60 percent reduction to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) and changes to Medicaid financing. The PPHF provides about 12 percent of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) overall budget and is a key funding source for state and local tobacco cessation and education programs, and other disease prevention initiatives.

The House Championing Healthy Kids Act will not pass the Senate with the PPHF and Medicaid pay-fors due to opposition from Senate Democrats. The Senate has its own similar, but bipartisan, version of a CHIP renewal bill, called the KIDS Act of 2017, that does not yet include mechanisms to pay for it. House and Senate leadership must agree on a bipartisan CHIP renewal bill before funds run out for states, which will happen in all states if the funds are not provided within six months. The timeline for a final deal on CHIP funding is unclear at this point as both chambers are now focused on tax reform.

Last Reviewed: November 3, 2017