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Advocates Urge Congress To Provide Long-Term Funding For Children’s Health Insurance Program

Eight-year-old Abigail Gabriel hugs her mother as Pennsylvania Department of ...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Eight-year-old Abigail Gabriel hugs her mother as Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Teresa Miller talks about the Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, during a news conference, Dec. 7, 2017.

Congress has been unable to agree on a long-term funding deal for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP.

CHIP provides health insurance to 1.4 million California kids, and nine million nationwide.

CHIP funding expired last September, but Congress funded the program for three more months right before the holidays.

House Republicans passed a bill with long-term funding, but it was financed by cutting a public health program established under the Affordable Care Act.

Kelly Hardy, senior managing director of health policy for the Oakland-based nonprofit Children Now, said that's like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“They are using children’s health really as a bargaining chip to pass something else that’s not as popular, holding children’s health hostage," she said. "It’s pretty disgusting."

Advocates are now pushing Congress to come up with a five-year deal.

A deal to provide long-term funding for the popular Children's Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, remains elusive.

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