Somebody’s hair really needs to be on fire on Capitol Hill. Preferably, everybody’s. House Speaker Paul Ryan and team introduced what should be called the “Tax Cuts for Donald Trump and Cronies” bill with big fanfare and a press conference today. No one in the traditional media bothered to remind them of the fact that they aren’t even competent enough to fund a program that has massive bipartisan support and is providing health care to 9 million children.
It is a fundamental failure in governing and morality on the part of the Republican Congress. While they don’t seem to give a damn, the people who are charged with taking care of children are on full alert.
The children most at risk of losing CHIP coverage soon are likely those who reside in states running out of funds quickly with separate CHIP programs. At least six states—Arizona, California, the District of Columbia,
Ohio and Oregon—are predicting they will run out of money by the end of the year or early in January. At least six other states—Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington—have announced their intention to take action before the end of the year even if their funding is not running out then. While the federal government has paid out some emergency funds, the money available for redistribution won’t last more than a month or two. […]
Delays in CHIP funding create unnecessary chaos and confusion for states and families. Inaction by Congress costs states time and money as officials grapple with various “what if” scenarios and develop contingency plans to meet their responsibilities to notify families, managed care plans, providers, and other stakeholders of any changes to their state CHIP programs. Even if Congress eventually funds CHIP, children are likely to fall through the cracks due to the uncertainty caused by the delay in funding.
Falling through the cracks means the end of health care for these kids, and we’re getting to the point on the calendar where that’s going to start happening even if the Republican Congress gets its shit together and makes taking care of kids a bigger priority than taking care of Trump’s tax bill. This has gone on long enough—33 days—that the contingency plans states are making are going to have to be put in motion, and then will take time to reverse again.
There are children who are definitely going to be losing coverage, all because House Speaker Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell want to give Trump his tax cuts before Thanksgiving.