October 5, 2017

The Republican health care terrorists are at it again.

Now that the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP or SCHIP) has expired under their watch, it's time to hold the renewal of that program hostage in exchange for cuts and adjustments that will make it harder for poor people to maintain coverage.

Because this is what Republicans do.

There are some gimmicks in the Republican proposal. Taking lottery winners off of Medicaid, sure, but that only saves money if someone wins, and only for that person's family. Much more disturbing is the cut in the grace period for paying ACA premiums from 90 to 30 days. And there's more:

Moreover, the bill saves $5.5 billion by making cuts to the ACA's prevention and public health fund and another $4 billion by adjusting Medicaid's third party liability policy. These further cuts serve to undermine both the ACA and Medicaid.

Through their callous oversight, Congressional Republicans already allowed CHIP to expire. Now Congress is exploiting its own neglect to bargain over CHIP's renewal. In fact, if funding is not soon restored, states will quickly drain what little money they have left for CHIP. Some may even run out of funds as early as next month.

It is unconscionable for Republicans to use this sense of urgency that they themselves created to make cuts to both the ACA and Medicare. It is almost shocking that they seek to be rewarded for their own mistake at the expense of American children and low income households. The most logical, fair, and straightforward solution is for Congress to pass a no-nonsense renewal of CHIP. They have always done so in the past and the only difference this time is that Congress has an even more compelling reason to quickly rectify their misdeeds.

Don't let anyone write a headline that says "Congress" is doing X, Y, or Z to children's health. This is Republicans. The Republican Party is the party that thinks CHILDREN do not necessarily DESERVE health insurance.

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