SHARE
G'wan, scram! Beat it! Come back when you have some money!
Meet your Healthcare Ejector, kid!

As you may recall, back at the end of September, Congress was so busy trying to kill healthcare for millions that it plum forgot to reauthorize funding for CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program — for the first time in the program’s history. No big, we were told, because the states had enough funding to keep the program running for a few months, and everybody loves CHIP with big bipartisan hearts, so Congress would get to it in plenty of time, no sweat.

Except that didn’t happen, and then it was far more important to pass a tax cut for the rich, although Senate Finance Committee chair Orrin Hatch insisted it was no such thing, because he was born a poor black child. In the middle of Hatch’s meltdown, Senator Sherrod Brown suggested that if Hatch really wanted to be a bipartisan guy, maybe instead of handing money to rich people, the Senate could reauthorize CHIP. But Hatch was in no mood to reauthorize children’s healthcare in such a heated environment, even though Hatch himself had cosponsored CHIP in the ’90s with Ted Kennedy, and had introduced a CHIP reauthorization earlier this year, cosponsored with Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden.

So here we are, facing December, the month a number of states had said back in September that their own funding for CHIP would run out. And now Colorado has become the first state in the country to send letters out warning parents that if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the program soon, they should start looking for other options for their kids’ healthcare. The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing announced Monday that the letters would start going out immediately, reassuring parents that the state has enough money to fund its CHIP program, CHP+, through the end of January 2018 and that they don’t need to make any changes just yet, but if Congress doesn’t reauthorize CHIP, then they should “be prepared in the event the federal government fails to reinstate funding.”

“It is critically important for families to start planning for potential changes in their health coverage if the federal government doesn’t renew funding for the CHP+ program,” said Gretchen Hammer, Medicaid Director. “We remain cautiously optimistic Congress will renew federal funding, but we want our families enrolled in CHP+ to be aware that changes may be coming and not be caught off guard should the program come to an end. We encourage families to sign up for electronic notices and informational updates […] so we can quickly reach them with updates.”

The state is also gearing up to shift families that qualify for subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act to that option, though not every family with a kid on CHIP will necessarily qualify. If CHIP runs out of money, Colorado’s state-run exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, would allow a “special enrollment period” to let people get their kids covered past the state exchange’s deadline of January 12. (Hey! Remember, open enrollment on the federal exchange ends December 15, because Donald Trump Hates You.)

The House passed a truly crappy CHIP reauthoriztion earlier in November, but it pays for CHIP by raiding other healthcare spending, like preventive care, and that will never fly with Senate Democrats, so chances are that CHIP reauthorization will be swept into a year-end funding bill, assuming there’s no government shutdown. Are you sick of all the winning yet?

Colorado isn’t the only state running out of money for CHIP; nearly a dozen others will be sending out similar letters if Congress doesn’t act. Minnesota has actually exhausted its own CHIP funding, but is spending an extra $35 million in state discretionary funds to keep the program going for now.

If Congress spends too much time deciding how best to fuck over the poor while helping the rich to more money, cuts to CHIP services in Colorado would start in February, affecting more than 75,000 kids and about 800 pregnant women currently receiving healthcare. Colorado’s CHIP program is available to kids whose parents make up to $5,330 a month, for a family of four. Nationwide, CHIP covers nearly 9 million kids.

Seems to us those folks really need to hire better lobbyists. It’s almost as if the people running Congress are far more interested in listening to big bankers and hedge-fund managers.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to help keep us funded (we’re just about out of credit card!), and for godssakes call your Senators about CHIP!

[Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing / CNBC / HuffPo]

$
Donate with CCDonate with CC
  • Ellie

    Pregnant women don’t need health care, they just need to stay pregnant. If all those kiddies want health care, they should pull up them bootstraps and get jobs. Orrin Hatch had a job the second he was born, because he wasn’t a lazy so and so wanting the gubmint to do it all.

  • WotsAllThisThen

    Don’t worry. When the super-rich get their tax cuts they’ll have so much extra money they’ll be able to give all these sick little children jobs in the coal mines. Problem solved!

    • Ali | A Grumpy Cat

      Look, don’t give them ideas.

      • Dudleydidwrong

        That’s not anything new. They’ve had that wet dream for more than a hundred years!

  • armed_bears

    They run this country like they have no plans for the future.

    Hey… wait a minute…

    • LiberalANDProud

      The GOP Economic Plan – Pray for the End Times

    • TJ Barke

      Their plans are: make massive profits.
      That’s about it.

  • Crystalclear12

    So this is what happens when you put Disney villains in charge.
    Do you think Hatch wears his puppy coat around the house?

  • ArgieBargie

    What part of “Pro-Life” don’t people in Colorado understand?

    • wait! what?

      More like “Pro-Lie$.”

  • Spurning Beer

    Voting these monsters out of office is not enough. There needs to be a mechanism for publicly humiliating and shaming them, repeatedly, over the course of years.

    • Michael Smith

      Its hard because they have no sense of shame. Or at least, their sense of shame is very different from ours.

      I think it would be good to leak scholarly articles about human sexuality or climate change, with extensive footnotes and peer-reviewed by some of the top academic minds in the world, and ascribe them to certain conservative politicians and personalities. That would really humiliate them.

  • GoutMachine

    Huh. It’s almost like Republicans don’t care about children.

    • shastakoala

      No they just “forgot” to care about children.

      • Weird Fishes

        It’s not that they forgot, it’s that they never read the Nanny’s email.

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      What you say!

    • Ali | A Grumpy Cat

      They TOTALLY care about fetuses imposing their will on women being fucking assholes children, dunno WHAT you’re talking about….

    • OneYieldRegular

      Bah, children are only good for inheriting estates that won’t be taxed anymore.

  • wide_stance_hubby

    If these so-called ‘kids’ would just make more meaningful financial contributions, maybe their silly little causes would get some attention.

  • Michael Smith

    They would rather repeal child labor laws.

    • Duke

      Children are parasites who don’t pay taxes!

    • Weird Fishes

      But only if it was bundled as part of an ACA repeal. “We’ve done it! NO MORE FREE ASPIRIN, TAKERS”

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    I’m sure they’ll package it with something odious, like allowing baby seals to be clubbed, and then complain when Dems won’t support their “Seal Clubbing for CHIP” bill.

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      “It’s a sad day in America when Democrats would put the needs of baby seals above those of American children who so desperately need healthcare,” stated Mitch McConnell this afternoon at a brief press conference. “But that’s the state of the Democratic Party: they hate the poor and want them to suffer. All they have to do is allow me to personally bash in the tender skulls of some newborn fur seals on the floor of the Senate, but will they vote to do that? Of course not.”

    • JohnBull

      New GOP ad: “Democrats want to save baby seals, but want to KILL YOUR KIDS!!! Is that the kind of thinking we want for our families in Washington?”
      And we’ll let them because we suck at campaigning.

    • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

      As they always do.

  • Jenny

    5330 a month? Holy crap. You have to be dirt poor to even qualify in Texas.

    • Drinkalong

      That’s over $30/hr. Have I missed something? Sure, this may be the high side of the income qualification to obtain subsidized health insurance for the kiddlies…but, sheesh.., $30/hour still needs help? I guess this means that the definition of’poverty’ needs fine tuning;”…unable to procure usable health insurance”. Thank you ‘merkan politicians and other nut jobs.

      • Suttree

        For a couple. 2 people at $15ish an hour.

        • mailman27

          Arithmetic!! Fun for the whole family!

    • Blackest Noobs

      it’s the cut off point, not the starting point.

      so it’s basically if you have two earners, that’s like both making about 15 dollars an hour for a family of four…notice the fine print….that aint helluva a lot if you also have to cover health insurance…especially for a family of four, and it’s not very likely those that meet the breaking point, 5330 a month, even come close to that amount because our corporations are horders with money but have no problem paying you practically nothing for long hours and no benefits.

    • Msgr_MΩment

      Has Lori been alerted?

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    “All I want for Christmas is my health care back!”

    – some kid, probably

  • Ms.MLG on Maui

    Look, you people can either have CHIP, or we can hump a mannequin with an ice penis. Your decision, America!

    • wide_stance_hubby

      Jackhammer it!

      • Ms.MLG on Maui

        For freedom!!

        • wide_stance_hubby

          Pocketed that to surprise hubby with later.

    • GoutMachine

      Does the mannequin have a vegan baby butthole?

      • Ms.MLG on Maui

        That costs extra!

      • wide_stance_hubby

        One could be made.

    • Msgr_MΩment

      Damnit! I’m no good with this decision making thing. Why can’t we have BOTH?!!

  • Swampay

    I have to assume that most congresscritters were once decent humans. That they got into politics at least somewhat out of a desire to Make Things Better. That only some of them are outright eejits or crooks. (lookin’ at you, Gohmert and Issa)

    How do they become so horrible? How can a once-decent human being become so convinced that cutting taxes on the wealthy is the most important thing that our government needs to do right now? How do they become so deaf and blind to the needs of so many people?

    Is a puzzlement.

    • Résistance Land Shark Ω

      Greed.

    • Blackest Noobs

      your assumption is wrong.

      their true selves were never decent humans, they were just better faking it.

    • JohnBull

      I guess I’m too cynical. I never thought these people were decent human beings. Perhaps five years of living in Russia taught me that our government is really no better than theirs. Because no decent human being wishes for others to get shot, sick, lose their job, or drink contaminated water much more easily in this country than in many others.

    • Serai 1

      Money.

      • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

        Changes everything. h/t to Cyndi Lauper.

    • BigCSouthside

      Nah. People like McConnell and Ryan were always pieces of shit

      • TJ Barke

        Yeah, if you’re a randroid, you’ve likely always been a moral failure.

    • calliecallie

      I have long been concerned that state legislatures are the breeding ground for future congresscritters. I can’t speak for every state, but in Michigan, gerrymandering and very strict term limits have dictated that the majority of our state legislators are not-so-bright Republican idealogues who only think in terms of the talking points and how to help themselves into re-election or their next job. The next job sometimes means running for Congress. My own Congresscritter was bought-and-paid for when he was in the state lege, and is no less so now, I’m sure.

      And then there are the Congresscritters who’ve been there so long, they’re not afraid they’ll lose. I hope some of them will have a surprise coming in 2018.

    • TJ Barke

      Insulation and relative deprivation.

    • Beelzebubba

      Money.

  • Ninja0980

    As always, GOP is pro-life until the baby they force a woman to carry against her will is born, then they don’t give a shit anymore.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      Pro Tip: The GOP isn’t even remotely Pro Life, even for fetii. They just talk that way so the Xtian rubes will vote for them.

      • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

        It would be interesting to see the number of mistresses who they have “encouraged” to abort, to come forward, on the record about it.

  • WotsAllThisThen

    Yeah but think about the tax cuts these kids will get to enjoy! Watching other people get tax cuts is the funnest thing ever!

  • Dept. of Space Tacos

    healthcare is too important to be in the hands of politicians.

    • LiberalANDProud

      “Correct, that’s why it should be in the hands of the insurance companies!”

      • Dept. of Space Tacos

        not quite…

        • LiberalANDProud

          Agreed. Perhaps we should have socialized medicine.

          • TJ Barke

            Cuz we could have better…

  • Anna Rompage

    They didn’t forget to renew CHIP, I mean seriously, how do you think they’re going to pass their tax plan and stay under the $1.5 trillion cap for the budgetary gimmickry they’re using so the tax plan can pass with 51 votes?

    Poor kids healthcare is getting the axe…

  • LiberalANDProud

    “I know I haven’t gone to school in many years, but the school nurse still hands out free band-aids. What more do you want?!?!?!” – Orrin Hatch

    • JohnBull

      More? Perhaps the nurse can keep writing off the cost of the band-aids she buys. The House version kills that.

    • Anna Rompage

      If she was smart, she would keep an aspirin between her knees anytime a republican is around…

  • Chyron HR

    No sick child ever gave me a job!

    • Anna Rompage

      Said nobody in the healthcare industry ever…

  • ariel_gee_398

    I don’t think this headline is very fair to Congress. They’re not just idiots, they’re also cruel.

  • Suttree

    So I suppose that hospitals will charitably give away healthcare for kids now, yes? That’s how I was told this should work. If you don’t have stuff you should get if from charity not the government! Calling all Catholic Hospitals.

    • shastakoala

      And all they ask is that you humiliate yourself by signing the indigent paperwork and then wait 12 hours to be seen.

      • Suttree

        That builds character.

        • shastakoala

          Play with your bootstraps while you wait.

          • Dudleydidwrong

            Bootstraps taste good, too. “Be warmed and fed!”

    • Crack_A_Toe_Ah

      I almost wish that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act — which mandates that all hospitals have to treat patients who need emergency services — did not exist. A few thousand cases of people being turned away for health care and subsequently dying in the street might do wonders for getting people to vote their own self-interest with regard to healthcare.

      • Beelzebubba

        A few thousand cases of white people being turned away for health care and subsequently dying in the street…

        fify

    • Notreelyhelping

      Hey! They write the charitable contributions off and….

      Never mind.

  • Suse

    Didn’t Jeb! opine that people could get health care through their Apple watches?

    • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

      “An app a day keeps the doctor away”

  • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

    I take it the only healthcare program they’re going to expand is “thoughts and prayers”.

  • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

    Clearly, Senator Hatch believes that misery requires company. After all, it’s a well-known fact that his parents named him Orrin because they hated him.

    http://www.cc.com/video-clips/2rsarh/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-the-running-men—profiles-in-profile—orrin-hatch

    • Msgr_MΩment

      They originally were gonna call him “Oral”, but even they could foresee all the kids telling him to shut his Oral Hatch.

  • Suttree

    I await judgment until I hear what Paul “I grew up on the gov. tit” Ryan has to say about it.

  • Cock Blockula

    Wow, they don’t even care about fetii any more.

    • Indeniable Ron

      I guess ALL their ‘principles’ are for sale after all.

  • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

    I have no snark for the non-action on this issue. Just outrage and anger. Fuck this republican’t congress and all who voted for it. I cannot say anything more for fear of the banhammer wrath. Fuck them all.

  • Mavenmaven

    Trump likes kids that don’t get sick.

  • UnsaltedSinner

    When Orrin Hatch was growing up, back when he still went by the name Oliver Twist, he didn’t need no stinkin’ CHIP. All he wanted was that poor Mr. Scrooge and Mr. Marley should get a tax cut.

  • Resistor Radio

    Ok, so I have a real, non-snarky question. I realize this is federal funding we’re talking about, but I couldn’t help but notice that some of the most dirt-poor cousin-fucking states, like Kentucky, for example, aren’t on that list of states about to run out. But California, a relatively wealthy state, is. Of course there are population differences, but how are these federal funds allocated? How is it that a large state with many poor kids is SOL while CHIP in a small state with poor kids (and a senate majority leader) are doing just fine, thankyouverymuch?

    Really, why aren’t all states running out of CHIP money at about the same time? Is there a set formula that determines how the CHIP money is allocated to the states, or does it depend on who’s in power at the moment?

    • @MrsRazor66

      Because Republicans hate liberal kids & believe they should all be deported back to Mexico. Even if they’re American & have no Mexican family history.

    • Seriously?

      It’s because 1) cost of living is low in the cousin-fucking states, but all of the smart and healthy people leave them once they have the first chance to do so, and no one ends up living there if they don’t have to and 2) states have the “flexibility” (Stayts Rahhts!) to make their programs far shittier than is required under the federal Title XIX statute; non cousin-fucking states offer CHIP to families up to 400% of the federal povery level, because those families have higher costs of living, and aren’t poor enough to qualify for Medicaid (booo!), or can’t afford employer-based or marketplace coverage.

      So, little kids go without health care! And get sick and end up in the emergency room. This is a feature, not a bug. The end game here is to eviscerate the safety net, pass the savings onto the richest .1% that bankrolled this shitshow, and rely on the survivors to continue to pull the lever in favor of those that hastened the demise of their friends and families, because, the emails. Good
      Fucking. Luck.

      • Resistor Radio

        So you’re saying that at the federal level the money is allocated to the states in a fair manner, but once the money gets to the states, some states actually spend it on chimdren’s healthcare, whereas the cousin-fuckers are stingy and that’s why they’re not running out?

  • Sure is fun to live in a Christian nation, ain’t it?

    • Dudleydidwrong

      Jesus loves us
      This I know
      Republicans always
      Tell us so.
      Little ones, just
      Don’t get sick
      Because, you know,
      Your health care’s shit

      • Indeniable Ron

        Apt.

      • SDGeoff3

        That is a gem.

    • In America, conservative Christians are a subsect of Libertarianism, nothing more.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        And Libertarianism is neo-feudalism.

  • marxalot

    But never forget, it’s the Republicans who are pro-family.

    • …and any number of other self-congratulatory labels that have no bearing on their actual politics.

  • @MrsRazor66

    The opening pic on this article tho… lmao!

  • Villago Delenda Est

    “Pro-life”: once you’re born, you’re on your own, kid. We don’t give a fuck about you, particularly if you have excess melanin.

  • Beelzebubba

    More than $5,330 a month, for a family of four, makes you too wealthy for the CHIP program. Meanwhile, the rich fucks who are running the country into the ground will spend that much on a pair of shoes.

  • Indeniable Ron

    If we ever needed more proof that these shits are LITERALLY evil, this should do it.

  • L Jean Camp

    Hillary Clinton was critical for its creation so they want to destroy it.

  • wavicles

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say that these politicians are trying to fuck us.

    • SDGeoff3

      They think we’re children.

      • wavicles

        Oh, it took my brain 10 hrs to see wydt. I’m grateful that it’s not my PoV.

Previous articleWherein Wonkette Defends GOP Florida Man Against Scurrilous Charges Of ‘ICE PENIS’
Next articleFEMA Gave $30 Million Contract To Two Florida Guys To Get Tarps For Puerto Rico. What Could Have Gone Wrong?