Sen. Hatch: No CHIP bill because 'We don't have money anymore'

Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program expired Sept. 30, and while lawmakers have said they are working hard on re-establishing funding, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said there is one major roadblock: the government is out of money, according to The Intercept.

"The reason CHIP is having trouble [passing] is because we don't have money anymore," said Mr. Hatch, the lead author of the Senate tax bill, according to The Intercept. "We just add more and more spending and more and more spending, and you can look at the rest of the bill for the more and more spending."

Without federal money, funding for CHIP in most states will run out by March. Colorado sent out letters to its CHIP program participants last week warning them that if Congress does not pass a reauthorization bill by late December, enrollees will lose insurance by Jan. 31.

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is working on a proposal that will lift restrictions on how much CHIP funding states can receive from CMS, according to The Hill. This funding would come from unused CMS reserves.

"This is a short-term, fill-the-gap for states — a little rescue, lifeline for them right now," said Mr. Walden, according to The Hill.

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