Time Is Running Out for Ohio's Children's Health Program

Dec 6, 2017

CHIP, a program that covers children's health insurance, is in danger of losing funding in Ohio.
Credit Valeri Potapova/Shutterstock / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Time is running out for Congress to approve more funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. That program is operated by states, and Ohio has a plan for the program known as CHIP in case Congress doesn’t act.

Unless the U.S. Senate and House pass a new measure, Ohio is on track to run out of federal funding for CHIP by the end of the year.

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says CHIP is a well-liked program and failing to keep funding it is essentially like cutting Medicaid for kids.

“Why in the world would Congress, any member of Congress, put tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy above health care for children is just baffling,” said Hamler-Fugitt.

Democrats have criticized the latest GOP proposal to save CHIP, claiming it takes too much money out of Medicare and the Affordable Care Act to offset costs.

Because CHIP-eligible children are covered through Medicaid in Ohio, the state says the program will continue, although with federal reimbursement through the lower Medicaid match rate instead of the much higher match rate of CHIP.