Capitol Comments

On November 3, the House voted to extend federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance, or CHIP, program, passing the measure with a 242-174 bipartisan vote. But the bill also must pass in the Senate before it can take effect, so many states will likely run out of money before they receive any new CHIP funds.

With insurance coverage for 8.9 million children hanging in the balance, states have been anxiously waiting to find out if federal funding will be extended for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. In early October, bills have passed out of committee in both the House and Senate to extend federal funding through 2022 for CHIP and other related programs. Both bills would extend CHIP funding and maintain the 23-percentage-point increase in the enhanced federal matching rate through FY 2019.

The Zika virus garnered global attention when an outbreak began in April of 2015 in Brazil, spreading to 84 countries as of July 2017. But with Zika cases declining overall, the conversation has recently shifted towards a promising discovery made by researchers at Washington University. Researchers have shown in lab and animal experiments that the Zika virus could target and destroy stem cells that drive the growth of glioblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord.

Congress must vote by Sept. 30 to ensure the future of federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. States are following this vote closely, as 8.9 million children per year are insured under CHIP.

Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) has quadrupled, accounting for six out of every 10 drug overdose deaths. Current estimates show that 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC1.

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