CHIP funding in limbo

The Children’s Health Insurance Program turns 25 this weekend.

The program provides low cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much for medicaid.

But instead of celebrating, many are on edge because Congress has not approved critical funding needed to run the program.

If lawmakers do not act soon, Pennsylvania could  be out of money by February of next year.

CHIP is primarily funded by the federal government. Currently, there is a political stalemate over how to fund it. The program expired in September and legislation to fix it is stalled.

Critics say lawmakers are too focused on repealing the health care law and tax reform, and they have put the program on the back burner.

The Senate passed a bill out of committee weeks ago to fund CHIP, but Republican leadership has not called the bill to the Senate floor.

The House has passed a bill to fund CHIP.

Here in Pennsylvania, there is also a battle over the program.

The State Senate passed a bill that would bar coverage for surgical procedures for transgender kids enrolled in CHIP.  After backlash, the House passed a version that removed that language.

While CHIP in Pennsylvania still has some time before it runs out, some states could be out of money by the end of the year.

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