Cash for CHIP ran out when the federal fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
In the interim, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has used unspent dollars from the just-ended budget year to keep the program alive. Those funds will be depleted by December.
The Hill quoted Trish Riley, the executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, which met Monday with most state CHIP directors during the organization’s annual conference:
There’s a certain level of frustration with the uncertainty. These are folks who have to run programs, and there’s lots and lots of uncertainty about whether or when the financing will come through — and how.
According to The Arizona Daily Star, the Arizona law that accepts federal dollars for what is known in the state as KidsCare, spells out that if the federal government ultimately stops funding the program, the state has to stop enrolling children. That’s exactly what happened in 2010 when Arizona lawmakers decided they did not want to pay the state’s 25 percent share.
Lawmakers voted last year to reinstate KidsCare, but only after Congress agreed to pick up the full cost, as least through the end of the federal budget year. The most recent figures show 23,199 children enrolled.
Governor Ducey is exploring options to move money around to fund the program until Congress acts in a definitive way. Read the story in The Arizona Daily Star