POLICY BRIEFINGS


Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


THIS WEEK'S BRIEFING - MARCH 2, 2015


Republicans Begin Work on CHIP Extension Discussion Draft


Following the release of Democrat-only bills to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) last month, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) have begun work on a CHIP discussion draft. The draft does not set a timeline for CHIP reauthorization, and does not propose a clean extension of the program. It would make a number of changes to CHIP requirements aimed at increasing flexibility for states. States would be permitted to use waiting periods as a means to prevent crowd-out among families who previously had private health insurance. The draft would also eliminate several measures from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that impact children’s health insurance. Specifically, the bill would eliminate the ACA requirement that states cover children ages 6 to 18 in families with incomes between 100 percent and 133 percent of the federal poverty level in Medicaid. The proposal would also eliminate the health law’s 23 percent increase in CHIP matching rates. House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) has suggested that when the current Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) fix expires at the end of March, Congress would agree upon a four to six month short term patch. A permanent repeal of the SGR could then be tied to CHIP reauthorization, which expires on September 30, 2015. More than one million children would become uninsured if funding were allowed to expire.



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