WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) released the following statement regarding negotiations to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and important public health priorities, like Community Health Centers (CHC). Last week, after the committee had completed marking up bills to extend funding for these critical programs and provide an additional $1 billion to Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program, Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released a statement calling for further negotiations. This is the third delay requested by the Minority.
“I am pleased to know that Democrats are willing to seriously consider reasonable, bipartisan ways to offset the cost of CHIP and important public health priorities like community health centers, the National Health Service Corps and the special diabetes program,” said Chairman Walden. “These programs are vital to communities across the country and funding should be quickly extended in a responsible way. At the request of Democrats, we have decided to delay floor consideration of the bill reported last week from the Energy and Commerce Committee in the hopes of reaching a bipartisan agreement on offsets. But let’s be crystal clear: with multiple state CHIP and public health programs on countdown clocks, if the minority wants to reach a bipartisan agreement, time is of the essence. We have a responsibility to move quickly to ensure children continue to have access to high-quality affordable coverage. If we are unable to reach a deal by the end of this week, I would expect the House to take up the committee marked bill immediately following the district work period.”
The HEALTHY KIDS Act and CHAMPION Act include common sense policies, like reducing government subsidies for Medicare beneficiaries earning over $500,000 a year to help fund coverage for low-income children.
- According to CBO, fewer than one percent of Medicare beneficiaries would be impacted, and according to CRS had the policy been in effect this year, would have meant an individual beneficiary would have paid roughly $135 more per month.
- Democrats are currently opposing a package that would fund health insurance for low-income children and Community Health Centers to preserve a taxpayer-funded federal subsidy for the wealthiest one percent.
- President Obama supported increasing income related premiums in his FY2013-FY2017 budgets.