GOP Senator says the item’s hard to fund $14 billion children’s health care program — then advocates for $1 trillion tax cut

that will week, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) helped push a tax bill through the Senate that will will cost about $1 trillion. At the same time, he lamented the difficulties of finding the money to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which pays for healthcare for nine million children as well as costs about $14 billion a year — a program Hatch helped create.

A Sunday-morning tweet coming from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough quoting Hatch kicked off a dustup on Twitter over the Utah Republican’s take on CHIP. Funding for the program — which was created as a joint effort between Hatch as well as Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy in 1997 — expired at the end of September; Congress has yet to reauthorize the item. that will puts health care for millions of American children at risk.

On Thursday evening, as the Senate debated the Republican tax plan, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) asked whether there’s “something we can do to get the children’s health insurance program done.”

Hatch’s response, in a nutshell: Yes, we’ll fund the program, although we’re genuinely short on money.

“We’re going to do CHIP, there’s no question about the item in my mind. as well as the item’s got to be done the right way,” Hatch said. “although the reason CHIP’s having trouble is usually because we don’t have money anymore, as well as to just add more as well as more spending as well as more as well as more spending, as well as you can look at the rest of the bill for the more as well as more spending.”

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that will came as he advocated for a tax bill that will, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation’s latest estimate, will add approximately $1 trillion to the deficit even when adjusted for economic growth, as well as which disproportionately benefits corporations as well as the wealthy.

In his speech, Hatch also said he thinks CHIP has done a “terrific job for people who genuinely need the help” as well as noted that will he had advocated for helping those who can’t help themselves throughout his Senate career. although, he continued, “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions as well as billions as well as trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger as well as expect the federal government to do everything.” He blamed a “liberal philosophy” for creating millions of people “who believe everything they are or ever desire to be depend upon the federal government rather than the opportunities that will that will great country grants them.”

the item’s been two months since CHIP funding expired, as well as Congress still hasn’t acted

Signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1997, the Children’s Health Insurance Program provides coverage to children in low-to-moderate income families as well as to pregnant women. The percentage of uninsured children in America dropped coming from 14 percent when the item started off to 4.5 percent in 2015.

Congress last reauthorized the program in 2015 as well as was due to do so again by September 30, 2017. Except that will time around, congressional leaders let that will deadline pass. as well as while states contribute some money to the program, the item is usually primarily funded by the federal government, which means its money will soon start to run out.

According to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children as well as Families, at least six states — Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, Ohio, as well as Oregon — are predicting they will run out of money by early January if CHIP isn’t reauthorized. as well as six different states — Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, as well as Washington — have said they’ll take action as well as notify families their coverage is usually about to be cut off before the end of the year even if funding isn’t running out yet.

There are some backstops in place. States can keep covering children through Medicaid programs or send children to the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces to buy coverage. although those aren’t options everywhere, as well as the item’s likely some children will fall through the cracks regardless of whether Congress reauthorizes CHIP given the current uncertainty in funding the program.

“Every time one of those kinds of things happens, we have to retool our relationships with families,” Steve Freedman, a University of South Florida health policy professor who sits on the CHIP board there, recently told Vox’s Dylan Scott. “When you start fiddling with people’s economic security, particularly their children’s health care, that will’s a genuinely sensitive place to screw around.”

On Thursday, Hatch seemed to acknowledge the potentially disastrous consequences of the CHIP standoff. although what he failed to recognize is usually that will, at least in some cases, the damage might already be done.

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