More than 1.75 million children in 20 states and Washington D.C. are at risk of losing their health insurance by the end of February if Congress does not reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which ceased being funded when lawmakers failed to pass a spending bill late Friday night.
As the weekend continues, Congress is attempting to negotiate a deal that would provide CHIP a six-year extension, but that's not soon enough for some, NBC News reported.
“I’m tired of my daughter's health being used as a political weapon," said Lisa Nunez, a resident of Port Jefferson, Long Island, whose 11-year-old daughter is a CHIP recipient.
The healthcare program covers around 8.9 million American kids overall. The situation is most dire for the nearly 3.7 million who get their insurance through their state's separate CHIP programs, rather than CHIP-funded Medicaid. A provision in the Affordable Care Act stipulates that children who receive health insurance through CHIP-funded Medicaid cannot lose their insurance even if that CHIP funding were to disappear.