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Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program expired on October 1, and states will start running out of money soon, putting coverage for 9 million children at risk. Funding for community health centers has also expired. And Puerto Rico will need an infusion of health care funding as the island deals with the devastation after Hurricane Maria.
It sounds like a crisis, and it is — but that doesn’t mean Congress will make solving it easy. House Republicans rolled out their proposal for dealing with these pressing health care issues late Monday night, and their offer sets up the next big health care fight in Washington.
On the affirmative side, the House proposal would:
- Extend CHIP funding for five years while sunsetting Obamacare’s funding boost for the program, much like the existing Senate deal
- Extend federal funding for community health centers — which provide primary health care to poor rural and urban areas — for two years
- Make an additional $1 billion in Medicaid funding available to Puerto Rico