END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (Connecticut & Maryland)

Time: D H M S

CHIP

 

Not much to add to this. Here's the state-level breakout of how many children were enrolled in the CHIP program in 2016; it inched slightly upwards this year:

 

So one of the Big Deals on Twitter this morning was this tweet by Republican (correction: Former Republican) MSNBC talking head Joe Scarborough:

.@SenOrrinHatch talking about children's health care: “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves – won’t lift a finger – and expect the federal government to do everything.”

— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) December 3, 2017

...which caused an immediate and understandable backlash uproar, including my own tweet (since deleted),

Holy crap. They're CHILDREN. Plus...didn't he used to brag about helping CREATE the CHIP program in the first place?

I hadn't actually seen the full clip at the time. My own tweet went semi-viral, with several hundred RTs and a bunch of Likes within a couple of hours.

However, shortly after that, Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis correctly noted that...

I used to track the monthly Medicaid/CHIP enrollment reports issued by CMS, watching as the numbers rose dramatically thanks to ACA Medicaid expansion.

I pretty much stopped doing that about a year ago, however, since the expansion numbers have mostly petered out. ACA Medicaid expansion actually has continued to climb a bit more since January, and is likely somewhere around 16 million people as of now, but it's also been partly cancelled out by a slight drop in standard Medicaid enrollment as the economy has continued to improve in general. In short, there's little reason to keep writing the same update every month.

UPDATE: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has issued their own more detailed analysis which adds substantially to my concerns.

Three days after allowing Children's Health Insurance Program funding to run out for 9 million kids across America, House Republicans are supposedly working on a bill to lock in 5 full years of funding for the program, along with a substantial initial funding infusion to help out Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria:

Republicans on a leading House health-care committee are proposing to send $1 billion in extra Medicaid funding to Puerto Rico as it deals with severe hurricane damage, as part of a five-year plan to fund the federal health insurance program for children.

via Stephanie Armour of the Wall St. Journal:

State officials increasingly worry that this year’s turbulent health-care politics could threaten funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a popular initiative that usually wins broad bipartisan support.

Federal funding for CHIP is set to end Sept. 30. The federal-state program provides health coverage to more than eight million low-income, uninsured children whose family incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid.

Note: It's actually more than that: 8.4 million children as of 2015, and 8.9 million in 2016.

There's been numerous mentions this week at the Democratic National Convention about Hillary Clinton's role in creating the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and with good reason.

The number which keeps getting thrown around is "over 8 million" (which is true), while the official CHIP website lists it as 8.1 million (which was true for 2014).

However, out of curiousity, I took a look to see what the 2015 data is, and sure enough, it was up to 8.4 million last year.

Here's a table showing, state by state, how many children were enrolled in the CHIP program last year (as well as the number in Medicaid, which, surprisingly, is actually more than 4x higher). In fact, well over half of all Medicaid enrollees are children.

NOTE: "Ever Enrolled" is confusing; it makes it sound like this is cumulative since the 1990's. It actually means "ever enrolled during that year", since there's a lot of churn with children moving into or out of the program as their family situation changes over time:

BREAKING Just Now:

CMS approves Arizona’s plan to re-open CHIP program

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has approved Arizona’s plan to allow new enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) after enrollment was frozen for several years. Now all states provide CHIP coverage to eligible children. 

“Today’s approval is a step forward for the health of Arizona children in low-income families,” said Vikki Wachino, CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. “With Arizona’s decision, all states in the nation now provide CHIP coverage to any eligible child who applies. More children in Arizona will have access to coverage early in their lives, which helps kids grow into healthy adults and provides parents with the peace of mind that comes from their children having affordable coverage.”

Having coverage through CHIP improves children’s health and increases their ability to succeed in school. Recent research on Medicaid and CHIP shows that these gains are long lasting, with children who gained coverage experiencing better health, higher educational attainment, and higher earnings as adults.

Health plan for needy kids rejected by Arizona lawmakers:

PHOENIX - The Republican-controlled House on Tuesday refused to restore a federally-funded health insurance program for children that's used by every other state in the country.

House Democrats staged a last-ditch fight to revive the KidsCare program with an amendment to the state budget.

Republicans said allowing the amendment would have "blown up" the state budget, even though the program costs the state nothing.

...Just a few months ago, the House had passed a bill restoring KidsCare with strong bipartisan support. But Senate President Andy Biggs wouldn't give the bill a hearing in his chamber.

An estimated 30,000 children of lower-income working parents would have been covered by KidsCare. The program was suspended by the Legislature during the recession. 

The cost of the program is covered by federal dollars at least through 2017 and possibly through 2019.