May 14, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care
President Donald Trump recently announced his intention to strip more than $15.4 billion out of the $1.3 trillion federal spending bill approved by Congress in March – of which the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) stands to lose $7 billion in funding.
CHIP provides 5.6 million California children with access to comprehensive coverage, mental health services and essential preventive services, such as immunizations and developmental screenings, to prevent more serious illness and disease.
Earlier this year, Congress passed – and President Trump signed – bipartisan legislation authorizing CHIP funding for an additional decade.
“The administration’s decision to double back on this bipartisan agreement would put children’s access to health coverage in jeopardy and prevent states from making investments that would otherwise strengthen their CHIP programs,” said California Medical Association (CMA) President Theodore M. Mazer, M.D. “President Trump’s proposal threatens to undermine the very program Congress intended to strengthen."
The proposed cuts include $2 billion from the Child Enrollment Contingency Fund, which ensures that eligible children can continue to receive health insurance coverage by providing payments to states if they experience an unexpected surge in enrollment due to an economic recession or public health crisis.
The Trump Administration also proposes to withdraw $5 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Fund, which provides low-cost health coverage for children under age 19 whose family income is too high to qualify for Medi-Cal.
“CHIP families have already endured months of uncertainty before Congress took long-overdue action to extend funding,” explained Dr. Mazer. “After enjoying a short sigh of relief, the stability and protections these families fought to ensure is once again in jeopardy. CMA will continue to urge Congress to reject any proposed cuts to this vital program.”