Healthcare Reform
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Healthcare for Children, C.H.I.P.

Updated: Wednesday, September 18 2013, 03:14 PM EDT
One of the more successful government health-care programs is the Children's Health Insurance Program, called simply C.H.I.P.

Millions of children rely upon it to stay healthy.  Soon, the affordable care act will change government health insurance, but it's not supposed to change C.H.I.P. much.

One-year-old Gianluca is getting a well-baby exam, here at a Salt Lake County Clinic.

Dr. Wendy Hobson-Rohrer says regular care is important for kids, and kids with insurance get more care. Dr. Wendy Hobson-Rohrer, University of Utah Medical Center, "they come more frequently if they have insurance."

For millions of kids, like Gianluca and his sister Filardia, insurance costs are paid by the Children’s Health Insurance Program, called C.H.I.P. for short.  It pays for families who make too much to qualify for medicaid, but too little to afford insurance.

The Obama administratioin likes C.H.I.P., and the Affordable Care act won’t change it very much.   The big change is they’ll try to get more kids like Gianluca here on the program.

Now just over 8 million children are on C.H.I.P., but there are almost 5 million more children who are eligible for C.H.I.P., but haven’t signed up for the program.

The Obama Administration wants to get every eligible child onto C.H.I.P.

Now C.H.I.P. costs are shared by federal and state government, the Affordable Care Act says the federal government will pay more than 90 percent of costs. 

That will encourage states to recruit more kids onto chip, and the federal government will help pay for aggressive recruitment.  

The Obama Administration estimates it will cost $113 billion from 2012 to 2020 to get all kids insured. 

However, Utah Governor Gary Herbert notes Affordable Care Act cost estimates have gone up, and in the past government-health-care costs have been off by as much as 10 times.  Governor Gary Herbert, (R) Utah, "I hope we’re not off by ten-fold on Obamacare.  If we are, we are in deep doo-doo."

Everyone believes health care is good for kids, some people still doubt whether the Affordable Care Act is the best way to get the care. Healthcare for Children, C.H.I.P.

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