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Children’s Health Program Imperiled By Republican Tactics

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13: Two men stand on the plaza of the U.S. Capitol Building as storm clouds fill the sky, June 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. Potentially damaging storms are forecasted to hit parts of the east coast with potential for causing power wide spread outages. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The following is an excerpt from Steve Benen | November 28, 2017 | msnbc.com |

The Republican-led Congress was supposed to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by Oct. 1. As regular readers know, that was the day current funding for the program, which has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, expired. The deadline passed, however, because GOP lawmakers were focused on trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Health care advocates initially hoped lawmakers would act soon after, and the missed deadline would be inconsequential. That was 59 days ago, and as of now, there is no solution and Republicans don’t appear to be working on one.

As Slate noted, the real-world consequences are starting to emerge.

Colorado has notified residents that the federally funded Children’s Health Insurance Program will shut down in early 2018 if Congress doesn’t act to renew funding that expired on Sept. 30; the state appears to be the first to formally make such an announcement. A state press release says its program has enough money to continue operating until Jan. 31 of next year.

Since the CHIP program is administered at the state level, the funding shortfall has different effects in different places, but estimates indicate that as many as four million children nationwide could lose coverage if it’s not renewed.

For more visit: msnbc.com

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