Congressional Corner

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Nov. 2, 2017

CHIP/Community Health Centers Vote in House

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act (H.R. 3922). This bill would renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years and extend funding for community health centers. The cost of the bill is offset by cutting funds from the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) by $6.35 billion over eight years.

Trust for America’s Health created a chart depicting the current level of funding and proposed cuts to PPHF.

The bill is expected to pass the House of Representatives. However, its future in the Senate is uncertain. The Senate bill, Keep Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure Act (S. 1827), does not include the controversial offsets, and, to date, the Senate effort is bipartisan.

Emergency Supplemental Update

The Trump Administration will submit a third supplemental request to Congress to address the hurricane damage in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, on Nov. 1, Sen. Alexander stated that there will be additional funding to address the opioid epidemic. At this time, it is unclear whether opioid funding will come through an emergency supplemental or other means.

Home Visiting Letter

This week, ASTHO joined over 25 other organizations in a letter expressing concern that the recently released Bipartisan Extenders Draft does not include a five-year extension of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. The extenders draft currently includes a two-year extension of the program. The coalition also urged Senate leadership to extend funding for the MIECHV program for five years rather than two, writing that it is important in order “to provide states, territories and tribes with the stability they need to continue to provide high-quality services that produce important child and family outcomes that have become the hallmark of evidence-based home visiting and the MIECHV program.”