Short-term continuing resolution does not include CHIP funding

Written by: Sarah Barnes
Date Posted: December 8, 2017

Yesterday, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open and funded through Dec. 22. The CR does not include reauthorization of federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), known as Child Health Plan Plus or CHP+ in Colorado. Federal funding for CHIP expired on September 30, and Congress keeps kicking the can down the road on CHIP, prioritizing other issues.

The CR does include a provision that gives the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) legal authority to redistribute CHIP federal funds through the end of the year for states that will exhaust their funds before the end of this month. This provision does not appear to change current contingency plans for Colorado. Congress’ continued delay in funding CHIP puts Colorado kids and working families at risk and on edge.

CHP+ provides health insurance for 90,000 kids and pregnant women in Colorado each year. Without federal funding, Colorado will be forced to cut coverage for kids. Colorado has already been forced to notify working families their children may soon lose their health insurance. Colorado is projected to run out of CHIP funds at the end of January 2018 unless Congress acts.

Despite the uncertainty around the government funding timeline, Congressional leaders continue to state that there will be action on CHIP by Dec. 22. We need our leaders to work together in a bipartisan way to get CHIP funded now to ensure Colorado children maintain the health coverage they need. Let’s get CHIP done: Colorado kids and families can’t afford to wait.

Sarah Barnes

About Sarah Barnes

Sarah serves as the Policy Analyst for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign in September 2014, Sarah taught middle school English and worked as an Interventionist at Pioneer Charter School in Denver. She was a 2011 Teach For America corps member. Prior to teaching, Sarah worked as an attorney in Denver in the areas of venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, general corporate and business law, and commercial transactions. Sarah earned a BA in English from Midland University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.