A Friday CHIP roundup

By: Meg Booth

This week, we saw a new draft CHIP bill that didn’t match the policy goals of the Democrats’ proposal, which was introduced the week before. The Georgetown Center for Children and Families published a very helpful side-by-side comparison of the proposals to help keep things clear.

The new draft proposal sparked a response by commissioners of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), urging Congress to extend funding for CHIP without significant revisions and to do so quickly. The Commissioners cautioned that states are developing their 2016 budgets and need time if they are forced to make significant changes to their programs.

A recent report by the National Academy for State Health Policy provides insight from state CHIP directors about their planning for 2016, noting that states are beginning to consider alternatives for their programs if funding does not continue.

Dental coverage will most certainly be one of the areas hit hardest if CHIP ends.

Although dental rarely makes the headlines (or summaries) of these reports, it will most certainly be one of the areas hit hardest if CHIP ends. As we have reported many times, dental coverage is unique in this debate and, unfortunately, we could see more children lose dental coverage than the 1.1 million kids expected to lose medical coverage if CHIP ends. Families should not be worse off following a CHIP debate than they are today.

Luckily, we end the week with renewed interest from Congress — both sides of the aisle in both chambers — to keep CHIP funded. Help us keep the momentum going next week! Have a great weekend.

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children ages 6-12 suffered a toothache in the previous six months.
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