Pennsylvania Senate Votes to Reauthorize CHIP
December 2017 ~
The Pennsylvania Senate, in a vote of 43-6, passed a bill (House Bill 1388) to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Prior to being passed to the Senate, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass the bill, and at that time, removed language in that would have barred CHIP coverage for gender reassignment surgery.
Pennsylvania’s Governor, Tom Wolf, praised the state legislature for passing the bill and called upon the federal government to also approve funding at that level, as Congress has yet to dedicate its share of money for the program. Currently, around 90% of the $450 million that supports the state’s CHIP program comes from the federal government.
CHIP provides health insurance to approximately 177,000 children in the state, in low- and moderate-income families whose income is too high to qualify for standard Medicaid programs. It is scheduled to sunset at year’s end in Pennsylvania without enactment of the reauthorization.
Congress is nearly three months past its deadline for approving CHIP funding and Governor Wolf has been vocal with his concern that the state is at risk of running out of CHIP funding (by February/March 2018) if Congress does not act quickly.
The bill will now be sent to the Governor’s office for enactment.
Source(s): Kaiser Family Foundation; PennLive; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette;