Yesterday marked the 100th day since Congress let funding lapse for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a critical source of health coverage for many families. Covering 9 million children nationwide, CHIP offers affordable insurance with services particularly geared to the unique health and developmental needs of children.
On December 1, Families USA partnered with First Focus to give congressional staff the opportunity to hear how states are handling the unprecedented delay in funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Joan Alker - Executive Director, Georgetown Center for Children and Families
Maureen Hensley-Quinn - Senior Program Director, NASHP
Moderator: Frederick Isasi - Executive Director, Families USA
Great news out of Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting health insurance for children. Based on analysis of data from 50 states, they found that the rate of children without health insurance has plummeted to a new record low.
As their Executive Director Joan Alker explained in her blog, the new report attributes this historic drop in the rate of uninsured children in large part to the ACA, “which for kids was building on more than a decade of success by Medicaid and CHIP working together.”
Last night, the Senate voted to approve a bill extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 passed by a 92-8 vote, after the House passed it in a show of overwhelming bipartisanship last month. President Obama is expected to sign this bipartisan legislation into law.
This week, leaders in Congress released their budget plans for FY 2016. The budget plans put forward by Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) and Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia) (the Senate and House budget chairmen) include massive cuts to the health care safety net and, in that respect, are similar to previous budget proposals advanced by former House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin).
In recent weeks, Republicans have released several proposals for replacing the Affordable Care Act. Ranging from op-eds to white papers to full-fledged bills, these plans share many ideas in common for how to replace the historic health reform law. The takeaway? Republican proposals would reverse the ACA’s extraordinary progress in helping millions of consumers gain access to affordable, comprehensive, high-quality health coverage. Here are six damaging ideas from the proposals we’ve seen to date.
Earlier today, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) along with Representatives Gene Green (D-TX) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced legislation to extend funding for the highly successful Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for four years. These bills do not add any new bells or whistles to the program; they simply extend funding to ensure that children do not lose coverage. Congress must pass this legislation quickly to ensure that states can plan their budgets appropriately and avoid disruptions or confusion for families relying on CHIP for their children’s health insurance.
Both a call to action and a roadmap for progress, Families USA’s latest report, Health Reform 2.0 lays out a path for securing high-quality, affordable health care to all Americans—regardless of income, age, race, or ethnicity—and for achieving the “Triple Aim”: improving health, enhancing quality of care, and reducing health care costs.
Congress to Challenge American Workers’ Health Insurance—Changing the Definition of a Full-time Worker and Other Proposals
As the 114th Congress convened this week, conservatives in the House of Representatives acted quickly to take up a Republican bill that could weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill is the first in a number of health care proposals that lawmakers may debate early in the session—some of which will seek to weaken the ACA and others that aim to continue programs that provide critical health coverage to consumers.
This week’s midterm and gubernatorial elections shifted the political landscape dramatically. How will these changes affect the work of Families USA and other advocates whose goal is achieving affordable, high-quality health care? They will certainly have some impact, but it is important not to exaggerate their significance. Today, we’re examining the implications for health care advocacy in the states and on Capitol Hill.