As Congress jousts over the funding of a major insurancegap program for children, millions of them may soon lose insurance coverage. Funds are dwindlingfor the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and nowhere arechildren in as much jeopardy as in Texas.

CHIP has become an accepted tool for ensuring that children haveat least minimal health coverage. But the federal program is thelatest sparring ground between the Congressional parties. Iffunding isn’t approved in the next month or so, existing coveragedollars will be drained. The situation is particularly dire inTexas, where claims against the fund jumped due to the devastationcaused by Hurricane Harvey.

Ironically, the same federal government that failed to renewCHIP funding by its Sept. 30 deadline also caused the Texas fund totake an extra hit when Harvey hit. The feds waived co-pays and newenrollment fees for CHIP members to expedite medical care tohurricane victims. Now, says a state official, the fund will rundry more quickly than in other states because of the waivers.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.