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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania

Rep. Costello and Rep. Emmer Introduce Bill to Ensure Availability of CHIP Funding

December 1, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) and Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-06) today introduced the CHIP Stability Act, legislation that would ensure states have funding to provide services under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Some states are currently facing a shortfall in CHIP funding, as the program has not yet been reauthorized for Fiscal Year 2018. Because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is limited in how it can allocate funding to cover these shortfalls, legislation is necessary to make sure these states can continue to provide the vital services offered through CHIP. CMS has confirmed that Rep. Costello’s legislation will provide the flexibility necessary to keep CHIP programs running through the end of December while the U.S. Senate considers legislation for the program’s long-term reauthorization.

The exhaustion of CHIP resources varies by each state, and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) projects Pennsylvania’s funds will be depleted in February of 2018. But Rep. Costello reiterated the urgency of passing this legislation to provide continuity and peace of mind for families across the country.

“Nearly 177,000 children in Pennsylvania and millions across the country utilize CHIP, making this a critically important program that we must keep fully operational,” said Rep. Costello. “While it is unfortunate this legislation is necessary, we must bridge the funding gap, and I will continue to push for a long-term reauthorization of the program.”

“Today, through no fault of its own, Minnesota has officially expended its CHIP funding. Lack of action in the Senate has forced Minnesota to find alternative funding in order to continue coverage for CHIP recipients. As one of only two states to receive a financial penalty for doing its best to serve these populations, I am proud to team up with Rep. Costello, Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Walden, and Health Subcommittee Chairman Burgess to introduce this responsible legislation to cover vulnerable Minnesotans. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take quick action to pass long-term CHIP reauthorization for Minnesotans and millions of families across the country,” said Rep. Emmer.

“We are incredibly disappointed that the House’s CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, which passed with strong bipartisan support, has yet to be sent to the President for signature. The bipartisan CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act passed by the House should be the foundation as we work with the Senate to complete our work,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX). “In the meantime, we believe legislation that provides short-term funding to the end of December should be passed as soon as possible. This responsible stopgap solution, championed by Reps. Costello and Emmer, will help families and states while Congress finishes the jobs to on funding for children’s health insurance, public health priorities, and Medicare extenders that seniors rely upon.”

Rep. Costello has been working to pass a long-term CHIP reauthorization. The CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, legislation to provide a five-year reauthorization of the program, passed the House with Rep. Costello’s support in early November and is currently under consideration in the Senate.

Background on CHIP

  • CHIP provides affordable and comprehensive medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage for children under 19 whose families do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot access insurance through a private plan.
  • By filling this gap in insurance coverage, CHIP has lowered the number of uninsured children significantly.

For text of the legislation, click here.