Register Now
Why register?
 The leading web portal for pharmacy resources, news, education and careers March 21, 2018
Pharmacy Choice - Pharmaceutical News - Congress' inaction could mean CHIP funding expires by January [The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.] - March 21, 2018

Pharmacy News Article

 10/12/17 - Congress' inaction could mean CHIP funding expires by January [The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.]

Oct. 12Federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program in Pennsylvania could dry up as soon as January if Congress does not reauthorize spending for it.

Lawmakers missed the Sept. 30 deadline to fund the program, better known as CHIP, for children in families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford insurance.

CHIP has widespread, bipartisan support, and this funding step is routine enough that lawmakers could handle it in an afternoon, said Sen. Bob Casey during a roundtable talk Wednesday in a Moses Taylor Hospital board room.

Failing to approve funding could cut insurance coverage for nearly 6,600 children in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, officials say.

Statewide, nearly 177,000 children could lose their coverage.

Casey discussed the implications with Teresa Miller, acting secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, hospital officials and two CHIP customers.

An insurance access advocate, state CHIP officials and state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, also joined the discussion.

"If we have to ultimately wind down this program which I can't even wrap my head around how devastating that would be for families but if we had to do that, we have to start taking action now," Miller said.

Her department would need to begin dismantling the program and notify families long before it actually ends, she said.

"We need Congress to act on this now," she said. "We don't want families to continue to wonder whether this program is going to continue."

Kris Morgan, a single mother from Blakely, once ended her own doctor visits to save money for her two sons' health care.

Now that they have their own insurance through CHIP, she takes better care of herself, she said, but the missed funding deadline has her concerned.

"We make the sacrifices for our kids," she said. "If they go back on my insurance, then I start making the cuts."

Before the Affordable Care Act, Scott Cannon and his wife, both independent business owners from Plymouth, spent more on health insurance premiums than on their mortgage each month.

Now, he said he buys health insurance for himself and his wife through the online insurance marketplace, and their 10-year-old daughter has a CHIP plan with a small premium.

"The whole system is making insurance more manageable and affordable," he said, adding that it's still not perfect. "The deductibles are going up every year, and some of the benefits are going down, but it's something that we can afford."

Casey's father, the late Gov. Robert P. Casey, in 1992 signed into law what would become a model for the national children's health insurance program, State Children's Health Insurance Program, SCHIP.

He is urging Pennsylvanians to implore their representatives to fund CHIP by next week.

Contact the writer:;


@jon-oc on Twitter

CHIP enrollment by county, Oct. 2017

Lackawanna 2,412

Luzerne 4,182

Monroe 2,439

Pike 875

Susquehanna 626

Wayne 668

Wyoming 375


(c)2017 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)

Visit The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Pharmacy News Index
  Drug Delivery Systems
  FDA Final Approvals
  Front Page Healthcare News
  Generic Drugs
  Hospital Industry
  Internet Pharmacy
  IT in Healthcare
  Medicare & Medicaid
  Over-the-Counter Drugs
  Pharm Industry Trends and Policy
  Pharmaceutical Development
  Pharmaceutical Industry


Last Chance
Mar 21: HIV Medications: Newer Drugs, Newer Guidelines
Last Chance
Mar 22: Treatment of Parkinson's Disease and Comorbid Conditions
Mar 25: Alternatives and Complements to Prescription Pain Management
Mar 26: Management of Alcohol Use Disorders
Mar 27: Pharmacy & the Opioid Crisis
Click for entire Webinar Calendar

Special Announcement

Free Membership
Enjoy Drug Search, industry newsletters and more...

Nursing Jobs
Are you a nurse looking for a job?

Check out the Nursing Job Source.

Your number one choice for nursing jobs.

Websites »
Copyright © 2018 Pharmacy Choice - All rights reserved.
Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement