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Virginia GOP Lawmakers Concerned over CHIP Reauthorization

Children Health Insurance Program

Governor Terry McAuliffe’s new two-year budget proposal was built with the assumption the Republican-controlled Congress will re-authorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program before the end of January. Saraya Wintersmith reports Republican state law-makers are expressing concern.

The McAuliffe administration has warned families who use Virginia’s CHIP-funded program that their coverage might be terminated

Still, multiple administration officials have said they're confident the U.S. Congress will re-authorize CHIP and the budget doesn't contain a contingency.

After the Governor’s budget presentation Monday (12/18), House Appropriations Chair Chris Jones pointed to multiple uncertainties generating from Washington and asked, “do you want to depend on Congress?”

“It makes the case for not expanding Medicaid as we know it,” said Jones to reporters. “Because that was a program widely acclaimed by both sides of the aisle for 20 years, it was a great program, now we're here in the 13th hour - in essence - trying to figure out what are they going to do. So if they don't act and we have no choice but to put that money in the budget, even if it's just for the first year, we have to be prudent and responsible.”

Jones and others say they’re hoping the state won’t have to worry about filling the multi-million-dollar gap if Congress doesn’t re-authorize.

The next federal funding deadline will occur December 22nd.