In the wake of the deal to keep the government open at least until February 8, Democrats are patting themselves on the back for securing a six-year extension of funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). What is missing from the Democrats overblown celebration is the fact that the funding they got for SCHIP is less than states have been getting.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, the Federal government increased its share of funding for SCHIP by 23 percent per state. If a state had been getting 70 percent of the cost of its SCHIP funded by the federal government, the federal share increased to 93 percent in 2016.
In the bill that was passed to keep the government open for three more weeks, the enhanced SCHIP funding authorized by the Affordable Care act is cut in half in 2020. In 2021, the enhanced funding ends entirely. This means that in 2021, states will see a dramatic increase in the amount they must pay for the health care of children covered by SCHIP. If states don’t have that money, we know what happens to those kids. This is especially true because 11 states are currently getting 100 percent of their SCHIP expense paid by the federal government. For those states, the cost of SCHIP will be a major issue in 2021.
So, 33 Democrats voted to accept less money for SCHIP and to hope Republicans are willing to help Dreamers.
If I were in the Senate, I certainly wouldn’t be proud of such a pathetic deal. Now that you know the truth, I’m guessing you wouldn’t be either.