Rep. Dwight Evans: Inaction on CHIP and DSH is unacceptable

While Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA and bipartisan attempts to fund cost-sharing subsidies have received much publicity, Congress' inability to pass legislation funding the Children's Health Insurance Program and the Disproportionate  Share Hospital payments program have gotten lost in the mix, writes U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Pa., in an op-ed for The Hill.

CHIP helps provide insurance for low-income children, but federal funding for the program expired Sept. 30. Though some states have enough money to maintain their programs until March or April 2018, many states will run out of funding by the end of the year.

The DSH program provides payments for safety-net hospitals where care is not entirely covered by third-parties, but the payments were set to be phased out because of an expected increase in coverage from the ACA. However, demand for safety net hospitals has remained steady, and Mr. Evans argues that funding for the DSH program should be maintained.

Congress should turn its attention from large-scale healthcare reform efforts and instead focus on funding for these programs, Mr. Evans writes.

"The hospitals that rely on DSH payments and the kids who rely on CHIP are among the most vulnerable in our state and frankly, they need action now," Mr. Evans writes. "The solution doesn't have to be partisan. Protecting low-income kids and the hospitals that serve them isn't a Democratic or Republican issue; it's a commonsense issue."

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