Washington, D.C. — On behalf of the nation’s children’s hospitals, the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) applauds the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) for their newly released recommendations to preserve the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). MACPAC voted to extend funding for CHIP for five years and retain other vital program components into fiscal year (FY) 2022. The Commission voted on their recommendations during a meeting in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 15.
CHIP is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage for low-income children and pregnant women in working families who are not eligible for Medicaid. CHIP, together with Medicaid, has brought the rate of uninsured U.S. children to an all-time low. Current federal funding for CHIP is slated to expire at the end of FY 2017, which would disrupt coverage for millions of children and threaten these historic coverage gains. CHA strongly supports a long-term funding extension for CHIP to provide stability in the program for families and states — this sort of stability would be provided by MACPAC’s recommended five-year extension.
MACPAC also voted to retain a number of elements in current law that keep children’s coverage strong. These components include enhanced federal funding to states and the continuance of the maintenance of effort requirement (MOE) for children’s coverage.
MACPAC similarly voted to extend the Pediatric Quality Measures Program (PQMP) for five years. The PQMP has led to the development of vital pediatric-specific measures, and has played a leading role in developing and implementing measure use.
MACPAC is a non-partisan agency tasked with making recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the states. While these most recent recommendations for CHIP do not carry the weight of law, Congress will take them under advisement when crafting legislation. CHA has engaged with MACPAC
throughout its deliberations process to explain the importance of CHIP on children’s coverage and access to care.