Local lawmakers discuss impact of temporary CHIP extension on WNY'ers

Posted at 6:35 AM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 07:47:14-05

The Children’s Health insurance Plan has provided low-cost health insurance coverage to nearly 9 million kids throughout the U.S since the 90’s, including 7,000 kids right here in New York State.

But the big question on the table is will it continue to help these families in need out - permanently?

With the extension deadline set for Friday, December 8th, time is running out.

But there's a light at the end of the tunnel, for now a least.

The House recently passed a two-week resolution that has secured enough funding to help states running out of money to fund the program for another 3 months - a temporary fix for the time being.

CHIP, as it’s widely known, is one of the few government health programs historically supported by parties on both sides of the aisle. 

Yet, Congressman Brian Higgins said, certain political agendas have to stop affecting crucial programs, like this one. 

"It's not something that should be happening, on any level, especially when it comes to down to affecting the lives of children," Higgins said.

Congressman Chris Collins shared his mutual disappointment. 

"This bill was passed with bipartisian support and I'm disappointed that the Senate has yet to consider this important legislation," he said.

By design, CHIP works with Medicaid to provide coverage to kids by either extending it through the program which is supported by a grant, by creating a separate option in addition to Medicaid, or by combining both - depending on the child and family’s situation. 

As it stands, two states run completely separate programs, 14 states provide CHIP via Medicaid and 34 states provide CHIP funding as a combination of both programs. 

For more on CHIP, visit their website