HomeWashington Letter2017 ▶ Senate Deal Struck on Children’s Health Insurance Program Renewal
Senate Deal Struck on Children’s Health Insurance Program Renewal

September 2017

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR), announced this week that they have negotiated a bipartisan deal to renew the state Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is scheduled to expire at the end of September. 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 agreement would provide funding for CHIP for five years. The federal government and states share the costs of the program. The Affordable Care Act increased the federal government's allocation of CHIP funding to states by 23 percent. Whether this increased federal match would continue was one of the questions during the negotiation over the program's renewal. Under the Senate agreement brokered this week, the 23 percent match would be continued for the next two fiscal years, 2018 and 2019, then reduced to 11.5 percent for 2020 before being phased out in 2021. The agreement is also expected to provide some flexibility for states in administering the program but details have not yet emerged.

The CHIP agreement must still be passed through the Senate and the House. There is strong bipartisan support for renewing the program and advocates are hopeful that it can be done by the end of September. Although the Administration had called for a shorter program renewal period, President Trump has not expressed any opposition to the CHIP renewal.

Last Reviewed: October 2017