KHN Morning Briefing

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After Missing Deadline For Children’s Insurance, Congress Now Mired In Funding Disputes

Lawmakers in both the Senate and House have bills to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program, but Democrats and Republicans have very different ideas about how to fund that.

CQ: Offsets Remain An Obstacle In Children's Health Coverage Bills
The Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce committees both approved their versions of bills to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program Wednesday, but questions remain about what offsets, if any, will make it into law. The House markup Wednesday night was contentious, with all the Democrats there voting against the bill due to issues with offsets. The House GOP bill would pay for the funding by making changes to Medicaid third-party liability, lottery winning calculations and Medicare premium adjustments for higher-income persons. Democrats offered an amendment, which was rejected 22-28, that included their alternatives for funding the CHIP bill (HR 3921). (Raman, 10/5)

Stateline: States Scramble To Overcome Congress’ Failure To Move On CHIP
With the U.S. Senate distracted last month by another Hail Mary attempt by Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress didn’t get around to reauthorizing CHIP by the Sept. 30 deadline. And that has left states contemplating how to keep the program running when the federal funding runs out — if they can keep it going at all. “The clock is ticking,” Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, said. “The longer this goes on, the bigger troubles states are in and more consequences we will see.” (Ollove, 10/6)

Politico Pro: IPAB Repeal Could Complicate Funding For Children's Health Insurance
House Republicans are trying to tie together bills to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program with repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a still-dormant Medicare cost-cutting panel created by Obamacare. But attaching repeal of any Obamacare provision could complicate funding CHIP, which has broad support among both parties. (Haberkorn, 10/5)

In other state Medicaid news —

Georgia Health News: Audit At Community Health Indicates Risky Data Policies In Medicaid
Auditors have found that Georgia’s Department of Community Health “exposes itself to unnecessary risk of error, misuse, fraud or loss of data’’ that could significantly affect the reliability of claims and payment processing of Medicaid benefits. The audit findings were reported in a document at the DCH board’s September Audit Committee meeting, obtained by Georgia Health News under the Georgia Open Records Act. (Miller, 10/5)

The Associated Press: State Estimates 90,000 Medicaid Eligible Are Uninsured
A new [Virginia] state report says there are about 90,000 Virginians who are eligible for publicly funded health care programs for the poor and disabled but have not signed up. The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services recently reported to the General Assembly that it estimates there were 28,000 adults who were eligible for Medicaid in 2015 that were not signed up for the program. DMAS said about 60,000 eligible children were not signed up for Medicaid or the state’s program for children known as FAMIS. (10/6)

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