Let’s imagine that there is a situation where a popular program can be extended.
Let’s imagine that popular program uses public-private partnerships.
Lets imagine that popular program’s extension needs no hard to agree upon pay-fors.
Let’s imagine that popular program’s extension is actually deficit reducing.
One would think that the vote to extend a deficit reducing popular program would be 422-7 in the House and 95-2 in the Senate.
That would be a nice strand of the multiverse to live in.
It is not our strand of the multiverse.
— Energy Commerce Dems (@EnergyCommerce) January 11, 2018
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that extending CHIP saves money compared to the counterfactual of doing nothing.
The CBO thinks the following in their estimate:
- Some kids currently on CHIP will get insured by going to the Exchanges
- Some parents of kids currently on CHIP who are currently uninsured will get covered on the Exchanges
- The repeal of the individual mandate increased projected premium subsidies
- Fewer net kids will be covered even with spill-over coverage into the Exchanges
That to me sounds like a reasonable set of assumptions. CHIP is cheaper for the federal government than paying Exchange subsidies for low to middle-income kids because CHIP is primarily paying near Medicare rates to providers instead of usually more than Medicare rates on the Exchanges.
A clean extension of CHIP saves money against the counterfactual of no change in policy or law. That money could be used to enhance state match rates. It could be used to reduce the total debt load. It could be used for reinsurance. It could be used for 5,001 things.
And yet, CHIP is still not being extended, 103 days after its long term funding was not renewed.