CBO: Ten-Year Children's Health Bill Would Save $6 Billion

2018-01-10 | , CQ Roll Call

Extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 10 years would save the government $6 billion, according to a private Congressional Budget Office email to lawmakers obtained by CQ.


The updated estimate would follow the policies that the five-year Senate CHIP bill (S 1827) would establish for 2018 through 2022. The CBO assumed the policies that were used in 2022 would continue through 2027.


On Friday, CBO released another projection evaluating a different time period. Last week's projection assumed that CHIP was extended for five years but the costs were calculated over a decade. The new analysis assumes that CHIP would be extended for a decade. 


Both CHIP estimates reflected the effects of the recent repeal of the individual mandate that requires most Americans to buy insurance or pay a fine.  


Last week's estimate of a five-year renewal found that the Senate CHIP bill would cost $0.8 billion over 10 years. That estimate pinned the total cost of CHIP at $48.4 billion over a decade, with much of that cost offset by changes to marketplace and Medicaid spending.


Lawmakers in both chambers and either party have been keen on a five-year funding renewal, but disagreements over the offsets have delayed final passage. The House passed its bill (HR 3922) that offset the original cost of about $8 billion mainly on party lines, with most Democrats opposed to the offsets, which made changes to Medicare, Medicaid and the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

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