Report: GOPers May Hold Children’s Health Insurance Hostage For Tax Cuts

Michael Conroy/AP

Congress returns next week to a nightmarishly short calendar during which they must pass a host of bills to keep the government running, including the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which provides health coverage to millions of children in low-income families and expires on Sept. 30.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Republicans may attempt to use the CHIP deadline as a vehicle to revive their effort to chip away at the Affordable Care Act, and could try to attach amendments to the bill to reauthorize its funding.

Congressional sources told the Wall Street Journal that Republicans are in particular looking at linking a repeal of Obamacare’s medical device tax to CHIP. Other lawmakers are considering amendments that would stabilize Obamacare’s marketplaces, fearing that a standalone bill to do so would either not pass Congress or would draw a presidential veto.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, The National Association of Medicaid Directors and several other groups have voiced concerns about attempts to play politics with the CHIP funding, warning that any attempt to attach a controversial “poison pill” provision to the must-pass bill would put it in jeopardy.