On September 30th of this year, Congress was due to renew $15 billion in funding to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It is now 56 days later, and they have yet to do so, forcing states to begin warning families that as of the end of December or early January, they will be left without the coverage they need to provide even the most basic, but necessary, care for their children. As the mother of a young son, this terrifies me.
While there may be some options — for example, states may decide to enroll the affected families in the Medicaid programs provided through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — this may also be a problem, as Trump and the GOP are doing everything they can to block these efforts by killing Obamacare completely. And they may very well succeed if Trump is successful at pushing through his massive tax plan for the rich.
Here’s what it boils down to, according to ThinkProgress:
At the center of both House and Senate Republicans’ tax bills is a giant, unnecessary tax cut for corporations: a 20 percent corporate tax cut at a price tag of nearly $1.5 trillion dollars. The Senate has decided one way its bill will raise enough money to fund this is by repealing the ACA’s individual mandate provision, a move that would leave nearly 13 million Americans uninsured.
Trump’s tax proposal would sharply reduce the federal government’s ability to match state funds (the ACA expanded matching) and would cut billions from CHIP’s funding.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who was one of the authors of both the original CHIP plan and the newly written tax legislation recently stated:
I am working with my colleagues to advance this bill in a fiscally responsible manner so we can ensure coverage is maintained.”
But after being confronted on the facts by Senator Sherrod Brown, who pointed out that the new tax legislation doesn’t include funding for CHIP, Hatch was forced to admit:
I’m not starting with CHIP.”
If Trump and the GOP get their way with this new tax bill, millions of people could die without healthcare — many of them young children.
Let that sink in.
Featured image via Getty/Mark Wilson