On Nov. 3, 2017, the House voted 242-174 to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The bill will now advance to the Senate, which has yet to take up its own version that passed out of Committee in October. A majority of House Democrats voted against the bill, voicing concerns over how the bill would be funded. The extension is paid for by increasing premiums that higher-income Americans would pay for Medicare, reducing funding for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Prevention and Public Health Fund, narrowing a grace period for paying health insurance premiums under the ACA, limits on Medicaid eligibility for lottery winners, and changes to Medicaid third party liability rules.
Under the House extension bill, federal funding for CHIP would be extended for five years. Federal funding for CHIP officially expired Sept. 30, 2017. On Oct. 4, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee approved its bill to reauthorize the program, but it did not specify how it would pay for the extension.
Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD will continue to monitor negotiations and encourage lawmakers to extend funding for CHIP. The AGD also encourages members to weigh in with their Representatives and Senators in support of extending funding for CHIP by visiting the AGD’s action page, available here.