CLARKSBURG — With out the federal authorities’s reauthorization of the Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program, the West Virginia Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program is remitted to finish.
With Congress but to approve this system, West Virginia is estimated to have sufficient funds to final by means of the start of 2018. Nevertheless, state legislation limits this system, making it contingent on federal funding.
Enhanced Federal Medical Help Percentages are for the Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program, that are used to find out the quantity of federal funds to a state for medical companies.
West Virginia has 100 % enhanced federal medical help, making it considered one of 12 states to be federally funded (together with the District of Columbia), in response to the Kaiser Household Basis.
“Though the federal CHIP funding was not approved by Congress by the Sept. 30, 2017, deadline, youngsters in our state is not going to instantly lose their CHIP protection. CHIP is inspecting methods to increase funding so long as attainable till Congress takes motion,” mentioned Allison C. Adler, referring to the Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program.
Adler is the director of communications for the West Virginia Division of Well being and Human Sources. She mentioned there are at the moment 21,291 youngsters coated beneath the West Virginia Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program as of this week.
“If Congress doesn’t reauthorize CHIP funding previous to this system working out of sources, households and the general public will likely be notified previous to any modifications in enrollment that should be made,” she mentioned.
“If the federal authorities does away with the funding, then we’re not in a monetary place to have the ability to proceed it,” mentioned state Sen. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley.
He mentioned the Legislature has a tough sufficient time with the finances due to points with the tax base.
“I might say that we will develop the tax base to have the ability to do issues like this into the longer term, however we’ve bought to have the ability to get our home so as first,” he mentioned.
State Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, agreed there’s risk for the state to have the ability to fund this system, however not for just a few years. With the passing of the street bond and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Header Provide Venture, there can be elevated income by means of taxes.
“If the West Virginia Legislature would take a tough take a look at how we’re taxing our pure sources and search for methods to extend the revenues from these sources earlier than they depart our state in these enormous pipelines, that would go a great distance, not solely to appropriate the monetary chaos they’ve created on this state, but additionally to fund vital applications like CHIP,” he mentioned.
Nevertheless, this yr he mentioned they’d be fortunate to pay the payments, not to mention tackle the extra burden of changing the federal funding for the West Virginia Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program.
“The well being care of our kids on this state is of paramount significance. With out wholesome youngsters, you don’t get wholesome and productive adults,” he said.
State Sen. Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, mentioned he supposes the Division of Well being and Human Sources has most likely begun making contingency plans and scaling again applications within the occasion that Congress doesn’t provide you with funding.
“It’s a ready recreation, and we’ll after all react to what the federal authorities does so far as appropriating more cash,” he mentioned.
Prezioso mentioned he’s not solely involved with CHIPS reauthorization, however the way forward for its funding technique. For instance, if the federal authorities decides to present block grants to states, he mentioned that will be much less funding for the state.
“I believe they’ll come to some resolution. I simply hope they don’t compromise to the purpose that it actually hurts states like West Virginia,” he mentioned.
By the legislative session in January, he mentioned he’s hoping for a strong choice.
“Don’t kick the can down the street and simply put a Band-Help on it and wait till a later date,” Prezioso mentioned.