A 2017 meme has resurfaced on Facebook, spreading outdated speculation that the Republicans would not fund the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program. In fact, President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation in February 2018 that funds CHIP through fiscal year 2027.
The meme, which was originally posted by the liberal group Occupy Democrats on Dec. 20, 2017, says: “After cutting $1.4 trillion in taxes for the super rich, Republicans just admitted they will not be funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides care for 9 million children.”
At the time the meme was first posted, the joint federal and state program that funds health insurance for needy children was close to running out of money. The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, had been funded through Sept. 30, 2017, and was operating on leftover money that the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, a federal agency that advises Congress on CHIP policy, expected would be gone by July 2018.
It’s true that, as of Dec. 20, 2017, Republicans had passed tax cut legislation that was estimated to reduce federal tax revenue by $1.46 trillion over 10 years, but had not yet renewed funding for CHIP. However, one day later, on Dec. 21, Congress passed a short-term spending bill that included $2.85 billion for CHIP, which kept it funded through March 2018.
So, Republicans have not refused to fund CHIP, as the meme being posted now says. Federal funding for that program already has been extended for several years.
Update, Nov. 15: Our story had originally referred to legislation that extended funding for CHIP through fiscal year 2023. More recent legislation has extended funding for CHIP through 2027. We changed our story to include that.
Children’s Health Insurance Program eligibility standards. Medicaid.gov. Accessed 12 Nov 2019.
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Informational Bulletin. Programmatic and Financial Information Regarding CHIP in a Federal Funding Shortfall. Department of Health and Human Services. 9 Nov 2017.
Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission. CHIP: Exhaustion of Federal Funding fact sheet. 31 Oct 2017.