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U.S. House approves funding for children's healthcare program

From Reuters - November 3, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved legislation to continue a federal insurance program for millions of lower-income children and pregnant women, but with an ongoing funding battle it could be weeks before the program gets more money.

The House Republican measure was approved 242-174 largely along party lines. It would continue the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years. But Democrats warned the partisan House approach would not fly in the Senate, further delaying cash for the program that expired over a month ago.

This bill is going nowhere ... the Senate will not take it up, and we will be waiting around until Christmas to get funding, Democratic Representative Frank Pallone warned.Republicans control 52 of the Senates 100 seats, and 60 votes are needed for passage there.

CHIP, which provides health insurance to about 9 million children, has been a bipartisan program since its creation 20 years ago and reauthorizing funding has not been contentious - until now.

Under President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, healthcare issues have become highly politicized as Republicans have repeatedly failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, a top Trump campaign promise.

The programs funding lapsed on Sept. 30, but most states have enough money to continue it past 2017. Still, 11 states, including Colorado, California, Utah, Ohio and Pennsylvania expect to exhaust their funding by the end of the year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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