Children’s health care program about to go broke if Congress doesn’t act soon

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WASHINGTON (WKRN) – For the first time in 20 years, Congress is about to let the Children’s Health Insurance Program known as CHIP…go broke

The federal funding ended in September and now there’s fear that low income kids who depend on the program might lose access to health care.

The reality is if you don’t get this addressed in a timely way you put children at risk,” said Senator Rob Wyden, (D) Ohio.

Some states like Utah, Nevada and California are scrambling just to keep the program afloat through the end of the year, says Sen. Wyden, and most other states will run out of money by March.”

Enrollment freezes and belt tightening and other emergency measures. They’re not abstractions they represent very real problems for kids and parents and families. Last week the Senate Finance Committee passed the ‘Kids Act’ to renew funding for CHIP.

“This bipartisan legislation extends chip funding for children’s health insurance program for the next five years,” says Senator Orrin Hatch, (R) Utah. “But critics say that bill doesn’t specify where the money will come from.

A House bill would find the money by imposing higher premiums wealthy medicare recipients as well as by making some changes to Obamacare.

“This is all a matter of priorities. There’s lots of ways that we can do that without destabilizing the Affordable Care Act, said Suzanne Bonamicci. “Without putting it on the backs of seniors and destabilizing medicare.”

The bottom line is congress needs to act fast or 9 million kids around the country will lose coverage over the next few months.

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