Hatch-Upton CHIP Proposal Moves Backward on Children’s Health Coverage

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton have unveiled draft legislation to extend federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), proposing a series of major changes to CHIP that would likely cause substantial numbers of low- and moderate-income children on CHIP today to become uninsured or to lose access to needed care. Their proposal would:

  • likely cause some children on CHIP to become uninsured or face higher out-of-pocket costs;
  • shift significant costs to states by restricting federal CHIP funding;
  • eliminate tools and federal financial support that help states enroll more eligible children;
  • make CHIP more complicated and harder to enroll in;
  • place states at greater risk of federal funding shortfalls under CHIP. 


Republican Health Plan Would Cause Millions to Lose Current Coverage, Add to Ranks of Uninsured

The plan lacks many essential details.  But, it seems clear the plan would:

  • result in millions of people losing their existing coverage;
  • make coverage unaffordable for substantial numbers of low- and middle-income individuals, likely adding millions of people to the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured;
  • eliminate or significantly weaken health reform’s consumer protections and market reforms;
  • leave states with shortfalls in federal Medicaid funding that could cause many poor beneficiaries to become uninsured or underinsured over time; and
  • jeopardize employer-based coverage for some people who work at firms with fewer than 100 employees.



Medicaid is a federal-state public insurance program that provides health coverage to nearly 65 million low-income Americans, including children, parents, seniors, and people with disabilities. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) gives states matching federal funds to provide health coverage to nearly 8 million children in families whose income is modestly above Medicaid limits, typically up to 200 percent of the poverty line. Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage to about 47 million Americans, primarily individuals age 65 and older but also including several million younger adults with permanent disabilities. The Affordable Care Act, the health reform law passed in 2010, will help an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans obtain quality, affordable health coverage in both the private and public markets.

Policy Basics:
- Introduction to Medicaid

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The Center works to ensure that federal and state health insurance programs provide coverage that meets the health care needs of low-income children and families, as well as seniors and people with disabilities.  The Center also works to remove barriers preventing eligible families from gaining access to health coverage.

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Uninsured Rate Rose in Recession But Has Since Fallen
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