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Republicans Want a Piece of the CHIP Action

Health

POLITICO Pulse

By Erin Mershon

REPUBLICANS WANT A PIECE OF THE CHIP ACTION — Hatch, Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton and E&C health subcommittee head Joe Pitts put out their own plan to extend CHIP funding past September, following a Democrat-only bill released earlier this month. The GOP plan, currently in discussion draft form, isn’t an entirely clean extension — it includes tweaks to quite a few of the CHIP requirements that states must currently follow and eliminates several Obamacare measures that govern children’s health insurance. The plan from Hatch, Upton and Pitts: http://1.usa.gov/1BOw8vB

— But advocates are already wary. Groups like First Focus are pleased that the majority party is looking closely at CHIP, especially since they caution that state lawmakers will need certainty on the federal funding before they end their sessions, some as early as next month. But quite a few of the provisions in the Republican proposal are “major concerns,” they say — and some could mean “the death of CHIP,” First Focus President Bruce Lesley told your PULSE scribe. Lesley and Joan Alker, executive director of Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families, take issue with provisions designed to enhance flexibility for states — which they point out will do so at the expense of children. “We don’t think anything Congress does should make children worse off,” Lesley said. Alker has more in a post here: http://bit.ly/17wpEnQ

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