Moving Fast in D.C.: CHIP Reauthorization and More Federal Dollars for Texas Medicaid

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Anne Dunkelberg /(512) 320-0222 x 102

January 13, 2009

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Congress is expected to pass a reauthorization of the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) block grant this week to make it available for the new president’s signature as one of his first acts (this block grant provides the federal share of the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP). Meanwhile, Congress and the incoming administration are also developing and negotiating a sweeping economic recovery package, now expected to be debated in February. The stimulus package is now expected to include $80 to $100 billion in enhanced Medicaid funding for states over two years. As a result, Texas may receive several billion dollars in additional Medicaid funds for the 2010-2011 state budget. Our Legislature will then decide whether—or not—a portion of those funds is devoted to improving our struggling Medicaid program at a time when families need help more than ever.