House sends Senate CHIP extension bill while Gov. Ducey scrambles to find KidsCare funding

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been reauthorized by the U.S. House for five years while at the same time extending for two-years funding for community health centers. The bill now moves to the Senate, which has yet to take up its own committee-passed version.Meanwhile, Arizona’s Governor Ducey is looking at funding options to keep the Arizona program, KidsCare, going through the spring.

According to a Gov. Ducey spokesman, the state will shift money around in existing budgets to cover KidsCare costs. The state-run, federally funded program was expected to drain its existing budget later this month, potentially leaving 23,000 Arizona children without care. The new funding scheme assumes Congress will renew funding for the popular program by early spring.