The House of Representatives passed H.R. 3922, otherwise known as the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS ACT, on Friday, November 3, 2017. This bill, supported by 227 Republicans and 15 Democrats (total vote 242 to 174). H.R. 3922 extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); funding for the program expired at the end of September and was not renewed by Congress. If the bill passes the Senate as is, funding for CHIP will be provided for the next five years, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), or community health centers and public health programs such as the National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education would also continue to receive funding from the federal government for the next two years. Additionally, provisions include over $1 billion for Medicaid programs in Puerto Rico and eliminates the disproportionate share hospital reduction mandated under the Affordable Care Act.
While these provisions champion healthcare for children and those who rely on community health centers, the House has proposed to do so at the cost of other essential services. This bill will cut funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund by 75% until 2020, and completely take away funding through 2026. H.R. 3922 will also increase premiums for Medicare beneficiaries for those with an income over $500,000 a year and cut over $10.5 billion. The bill will now go to the Senate.
The Senate has proposed a similar bill, H.R. 3770 (CHIME Act) which extends CHIP funding and community health centers for five years, however the Senate has not yet proposed a funding mechanism for their bill.
If you are interested in telling Congress how important healthcare coverage is for kids, please feel free to use the following tools from our partners: