Ohio’s Healthy Start Funding Is Up In The Air

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Time is running out for Congress to approve more funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Ohio is one of several states on track to run out of federal funding for CHIP by the end of the year. In Ohio, CHIP funds Healthy Start, a Medicaid program that provides insurance to children and pregnant women with limited income.

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says CHIP is a well-liked program and failing to keep funding it is essentially like cutting Medicaid for kids, “Why in the world would Congress, any member of Congress, put tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy above health care for children is just baffling.”

Democrats have criticized the latest proposal to save CHIP, claiming it takes too much money out of Medicare and the Affordable Care Act to offset costs.

Because CHIP-eligible children are covered through Medicaid in Ohio, the state says the program will continue, although with federal reimbursement through the lower Medicaid match rate instead of the much higher match rate of CHIP.

According to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families, more than 200,000 children in Ohio are served through the program.