Federal insurance program delay could impact Kansas children

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas officials are considering options if Congress doesn’t reauthorize a program that helps provide health insurance for nearly 80,000 children in the state.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program provides insurance for children in low- and moderate-income, working families. Congress didn’t reauthorize funding before the end of the September deadline.

Gerald Kratochvil, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, told The Topeka Capital-Journal that if the program isn’t reauthorized, funds in Kansas won’t run out until March 2018. He says about 37,000 Kansas children are enrolled in CHIP, with another 42,000 in a hybrid CHIP-Medicaid program.

Republicans pushed a bill extending financing the program through a House committee Wednesday, but partisan conflict over how to pay for it could delay the approval.

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