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Deadline Looming For Children’s Health Insurance Program

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney holds up a copy of President Donald Trump's pro...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Budget Director Mick Mulvaney holds up a copy of President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget as he speaks to members of the media in the Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, May 23, 2017.

Another health care deadline is looming in Congress. But it is not about the Affordable Care Act — it is about the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Another health care deadline is looming in Congress.

Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, expires on Sept. 30. The program, which enjoys bipartisan support, provides comprehensive health coverage to nearly 9 million low and middle-income children nationwide.

Some 1.4 million California children are enrolled.

Kelly Hardy, senior managing director of health policy with the Oakland-based nonprofit Children Now, said the federal government gives California about $2.7 billion a year for CHIP.

“We’ll spend all of that money by the end of this calendar year, so it’s really important that Congress goes ahead and reauthorizes CHIP as soon as possible, so that states have certainty in that health coverage for kids," Hardy explained.

But even though the program has broad support, there is no guarantee Congress will reauthorize it before the deadline.

Congress has some more pressing issues it has to act on before Sept. 30, including raising the debt ceiling.

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