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Child patient being examined by doctor.
A glitch in the Affordable Care Act, combined with an expiring health program, could throw millions of kids out of coverage next year, if Congress doesn't act in the next year. Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program ends in September 2015.
CHIP operates under the Medicaid umbrella and covers children whose family incomes are too high to qualify them for traditional Medicaid. CHIP—unlike the traditional program—is funded through block grants; states receive a fixed amount of money from the federal government, which they match with state dollars.

The situation for children isn't so dire now as it was in 2009. Now that the state health insurance exchanges exist, many families with children enrolled in CHIP would have access to affordable forms of coverage on the exchange. Not all of them, though.

Due to a mistake in the way the Affordable Care Act was written, an estimated two million children will be without affordable coverage if Congress fails to continue CHIP's funding. The mistake, known in health policy circles as the "family glitch," prohibits families with incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty line from receiving subsidies if one of the parents has health insurance through their employer—even when that coverage won't cover dependent spouses or children.

The problem in the ACA is that the subsidy provision was written to consider only whether employer-provided insurance is affordable for the individual enrolled—it doesn't take into account the premium costs for covering an entire family, which can be extremely expensive. Here's the Devor family in Illinois as an example. The husband/father gets coverage through his employer for just $71 a month out of his paycheck. To cover his entire family, he'd have to spend $587 a month, which he just can't afford. His affordable plan means he doesn't qualify for a subsidy on the exchange—and neither does his family. His wife isn't insured, his kids are covered through CHIP. For as long as it lasts.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), a key architect of the CHIP program, has introduced legislation to fund the program through 2019. It doesn't seem likely that a Republican Congress would do anything about fixing a glitch in Obamacare—they haven't been too willing to do so yet—but not kicking millions of kids out of health coverage? That they might be willing to consider.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:20:13 AM PDT

  •  This all goes back to the rule that the cost of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, FloridaSNMOM, worldlotus

    the employees coverage could not be more than 9% of family income, but did not factor in family coverage for those who needed it. As I recall, there were questions early on about the glitch and many people thought that OF COURSE it would be interpreted to mean 9% of income for the actual coverage required but somehow that didn't happen.

    What I don't get is why the wife and children can't simply go on the exchange and cover themselves with a subsidy since they are non-persons under the current interpretation and get no consideration whatsoever.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:41:06 AM PDT

    •  PL - that would seem to the fix that has the best (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, worldlotus

      chance to attract the bipartisan support needed.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:38:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd love to agree with you, but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        ...I don't see how we attract bipartisan support for any fix to the ACA.  Especially after what happened to Cantor, I think it will be particularly hard to find more than a handful of Republicans in the House that would be willing to vote for anything that might be an improvement to the ACA, because that vote would be used against them in the next primary.

        Yes, this political dynamic will eventually change.  But probably not until after the 2016 elections.

        If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

        by TexasTom on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 05:04:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Zero chance Republicans will agree to a fix (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buzzer, lisakaz, AJ in Camden

    Their whole purpose for five years has been to destroy the ACA at whatever cost, total scorched earth policy. They're willing to deny hundreds of thousands of people Medicaid coverage in red states, a total of at least five million people. Why would denying health coverage to a few children bother them?

    "Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail." - My President

    by Fordmandalay on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:43:33 PM PDT

    •  Oh, and it gives them another opportunity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks

      To show how 'broken' Obamacare is, and why 'the whole law needs to scrapped!!'. They couldn't destroy it in one big chunk; now the plan is to kill it with the death of a thousand cuts.

      We need to stop thinking that Republicans will act 'human', or with conscience. In every circumstance, we need to ask 'what is the worst, most inhuman thing possible?', because that is inevitably what they will do, and we have to be prepared for it.

      "Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail." - My President

      by Fordmandalay on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:12:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, good luck with that. Maybe in a lame duck (0+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 03:52:42 PM PDT

  •  I'm shocked. Shocked to find that glitches are (0+ / 0-)

    going on in this law.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:02:24 PM PDT

  •  Oh, Republican'ts will get on board... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lisakaz

    ...to fix it, once they finish strangling all of the newborn kittens...

  •  It is not a glitch. It is a cynical Neo-liberal (0+ / 0-)

    incentive to make both parents have to work.  This will cause many strategic divorces as a survival tactic applied.
    Stay at home parent become a deep luxury.  

  •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

    "It doesn't seem likely that a Republican Congress would do anything about fixing a glitch in Obamacare—they haven't been too willing to do so yet—but not kicking millions of kids out of health coverage? That they might be willing to consider." What would lead you to believe that? What is it that you've seen from the Republicans that I haven't?

  •  I dare the repuglicans to do it. Period. (0+ / 0-)

    I dare the repuglicans to do it. Period.

  •  Just an example of how poorly conceived (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    AnnetteK

    Yet another example of how poorly conceived and executed this Obamination is.  

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