Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is urging Congress to extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2019, past the program's current scheduled expiration in September 2015. The program is authorized through 2019, but funding has only been authorized through 2015. The reason for the shortfall in funding has often been cited as the Medicaid expansion contained in the Affordable Care Act, which, if it had been enacted as envisioned by the law, would have covered the same population of children covered by CHIP. When the Supreme Court ruled that Medicaid expansion was an optional rather than a mandatory condition of states' participation in Medicaid, it left many children in non-expanding states at risk of losing coverage.
The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) has also recommended to Congress that CHIP funding be extended. Another concern that advocates have noted is that spouses and children do not have access to exchange subsidies if a parent has an offer of affordable coverage, even if it is not affordable for the family. This so-called "family glitch" has the potential to leave up to 2.7 million children without coverage.
Rockefeller, who has announced that he will not seek reelection after his current term expires, feels it is important to push this reauthorization through the lame duck session, as its chances of being successful later diminish.
Source: Inside CMS