There are two main possibilities for how to move forward with CHIP. "Hatch noted that Congress could either reauthorize CHIP, which he said would require extensive debate and possibly policy changes, or it could extend CHIP short-term because there isn't enough time for a policy debate before CHIP funding expires," Terry reports. But while Hatch favors extending CHIP, fellow Finance Committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) favors a reauthorization. "A short-term extension, he said, would just mean kicking the can down the road, and putting off a decision until December would lead to some states running out of CHIP money."
At the hearing, Anne Schwartz, executive director of The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, which advises Congress on Medicaid and CHIP issues, said the commission recommends a five-year reauthorization of CHIP to reduce uncertainty for states during this "transitional period" of health care reform. In January the commission had also recommended that Congress extend the increase in federal matching rates for CHIP through 2022. "The Affordable Care Act (ACA) raised those rates by 23 percentage points through 2019, so this would be a 3-year extension. Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia have federal matching rates of 100 percent, and 22 other states have rates of 90 to 99 percent. These higher rates have persuaded some states to expand children's health coverage, Schwartz said."