Maybe now attention can turn to children’s health care

Lost amid all the focus on sexual harassment, Roy Moore, and the presidential tweets of the day is the fact that the Children’s Health Insurance Program will run out of money in February. The program was created two decades ago to ensure health care for kids whose parents don’t have a lot of money, yet make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

That’s about 9 million kids, but Congress let the program expire in September.

“It’s extremely important,” says Timothy McBride, a professor of health economics at Washington University in St. Louis, “because it’s developmental — it’s vaccines. You know it can reduce the likelihood that a person has a lifelong chronic disease.”

“Parents are literally telling us they don’t know what to do,” Dr. Todd Wolynn, a pediatrician, tells NPR. “They make too much to get Medicaid and they don’t have jobs or earn enough to get the commercial insurance. I don’t know what to tell them to do.”

Maybe the issue will get some attention now that the Alabama Senate race has been settled and a famous man hasn’t been accused of sexual harassment for 13, 14 hours now.

Until then, it falls to a late-night comedian to keep it front and center.

  • Al
    • jon

      If congress focused their energy on what people were worried about they wouldn’t have an issue to campaign on next election.

  • It’s really bad when Congress is so inept as to allow these kinds of issues to drag on without resolutions. There are so many dependencies hanging in the balance. Insurance companies need lead time to manage plans. Families need insurance, and have to know what is happening in 2018 so that they can chart a course for healthcare. The financial markets don’t know what to do with healthcare related businesses. States (like ours) want to know what is happening with CHIP funding so that they can craft their budgets. It’s just a mess – and one that could turn personal and tragic for children who need healthcare but who have no say in whether it is available or not. If this cannot be fixed it is the shame of our age.

    • AmiSchwab

      not ineptitude. just plain don’t give a f—- about poor people.

  • Rob

    As Senator Orrin Hatch of the Plutocratic Party pointed out, “There isn’t any money left for CHIPs (‘cuz we’re using that money to effectuate tax cuts).”

    • Mike

      Also, when it’s a legitimate domestic need, we just can’t do it because…. the deficit. But when it’s the latest weapons program, troop deployment, or other type of military adventurism, cost is no object.

  • asiljoy

    I’m not sure this is ineptitude so much so as just a defacto cut. Ryan/McConnell have been pretty clear if you read in-between the lies that they’re going drive the country towards bankruptcy via tax cuts and then cut services to pay for them. This just fits into that small government, bootstrapping model they’re so fond of and they didn’t have to do anything to get it whereas with the other services/entitlements they’re going to have to be more deliberate to get cuts. It’s cruel.

  • Leroy

    It’s the same nonsense as the bill for the 9/11 first responders. Sure, (most) everyone wants it, but why waste the opportunity by addressing it outright when you can tack on some additional things to the bill that not everyone would vote for.

    Just to be clear, I think that the people who engage in this sort of gamesmanship should be kicked out of office.