This week, Minnesota became the first state to run out of federal funds for its Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) since Congress missed a September deadline to renew it. The blue state will make up the loss out of state revenues, for now, but others will not. Colorado’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing sent letters to the Centennial State’s CHIP recipients warning that it will run out of funds by the end of January, and advising them to look into private insurance. Renewing funding for the once-bipartisan program may become part of negotiations to keep the government running through the new year, but Politico reports that Republican leaders are considering a hardline approach to those talks, and according to The Washington Post, “President Trump has told confidants that a government shutdown could be good for him politically.” So it doesn’t look like anyone’s thinking of the children at the moment.
Lest you begin thinking perhaps Republicans aren’t truly evil, greedy, and heartless, allow me to offer the example of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Designed to provide low-cost health care to children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, it’s one of the truly good things government does. Hey, who can argue against providing health care to children, right?
Turns out Republicans have a real issue with CHIP, and many are quite willing to allow the program to run out of money without re-funding it. It’s become something of a political football of late, and even the President appears will to hold CHIP hostage as a way of scoring political points. Then again, why would he or any other Republican give a damn about CHIP? Kids can’t vote and thus have no voice.
Is it just me, or should there be a special place in Hell for those willing to play politics with the health of children? Have we really sunk this low?
Nice work, America.