Hospitals start getting nervous about CHIP reauthorization

Most states still have CHIP money on hand until the end of the calendar year.

Although the Republican-controlled Congress has been slow to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), no signs have appeared to suggest it is doomed. Nevertheless, some providers are becoming nervous about getting paid.

RELATED: Senate committee advances CHIP reauthorization bill, but partisan disputes pose challenge

Funding authorization expired at the end of September without a renewal from Congress, an action that speaks to the dysfunction of that body and the Trump administration, according to Forbes. 

Most states still have CHIP money on hand until the end of the calendar year, and the Senate Finance Committee issued language on a new bill this week that would extend the program’s authorization for five more years. However, Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has also suggested packaging CHIP reauthorization with measures to stabilize the health insurance exchanges operating as part of the Affordable Care Act.

RELATED: Congress set to miss Children's Health Insurance Program funding deadline

Forbes pointed to a report released earlier this week from Mizuho Securities that hinted at potential chaos. “States will not have access to additional funds and either will have to scramble to find money to pay for the healthcare costs for some of the most vulnerable patients or hospitals likely will experience a surge in uncompensated care,” it said.

An official with the Missouri Hospital Association told Missourinet that funding for CHIP could be under close scrutiny as part of the GOP’s plans to try and pay for a big tax cut. “To some degree the CHIP program is the first volley in that larger debate about, if they’re going to do tax cuts, where are they going to do tax cuts,” Dave Dillon, vice president of public and media relations for the MHA, told the publication. “The idea is ‘the program is ‘popular.’ But how they fund the program could be a very different portion of this debate.”