Tag: Federal spending

Update: Federal Funding for Children’s Insurance Program Approved in Budget Bill

Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program was extended for six years in the compromise budget bill passed by Congress and signed by the president Monday.

Alabama and many other states had been particularly concerned about funding for the program, which was in danger of running out next month.

BirminghamWatch focused on the insurance program, known in Alabama as All Kids, in the first of a planned series exploring the connections between Alabama and Washington.
Read the story about the effect the federal funding has in the state:

What Happens If CHIP Goes Away? Congress’ Failure to Fund Popular Health Program for Kids Could Leave Thousands in Alabama Uninsured

What Happens If CHIP Goes Away? Congress’ Failure to Fund Popular Health Program for Kids Could Leave Thousands in Alabama Uninsured

It’s a $53 billion* question for Alabama, and that’s just the U.S. government dollars at play in a year in the state. There are also the personalities, policies and practices setting the direction of federal influence on everything from Alabama retirees’ Social Security checks to Boeing Company’s more than $900 million* in contracts. Today’s report on the Children’s Health Insurance Program is the first of BirminghamWatch’s looks at the Alabama-Washington connection.

If your child needed medicine for asthma or ADHD or treatment for an infection or injury, what would you do if you didn’t have insurance or the funds to pay?

That’s the scenario thousands of Alabama families face if Congress fails to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP. Despite bipartisan support, including professed support from the Trump White House, CHIP was not reauthorized in time for a Sept. 30 deadline. And now as the clock ticks, the funding for 160,000 children in Alabama hangs in the balance.

About 77,000 of those children have insurance paid for by the state’s Medicaid program, using CHIP funds. Medicaid could still choose to provide insurance for these children if Congress fails to act, but the state of Alabama would have to pick up the cost for covering them. Medicaid routinely faces yearly struggles for funding in the Alabama Legislature.

But 83,000 children whose insurance through Alabama’s ALL Kids program is subsidized by about $200 million from CHIP would find themselves without insurance that many of their parents can afford. If Congress doesn’t act soon, that’s what will happen early in 2018, said Cathy Caldwell, director of the ALL Kids program.

“If CHIP funding is not continued, it’s very likely that the ALL Kids program would go away,” Caldwell said. She estimated the program could be canceled in about February. Read more.