On Friday, CHIP refunding moved forward, ending Halloween week with a trick not a treat. While the House passed its version of refunding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) inclusive of continued funding for Community Health Centers, they forged ahead without bipartisan support. The House bill includes offsets or pay-fors that raid the Affordable Care Act’s Public Health and Prevention Fund and undermine coverage for almost 700,000 people receiving Marketplace premium subsidies by severely limiting their grace period for nonpayment. Advocacy groups at all levels came out hard against the partisan positioning on a program that has longstanding bipartisan support. See our statement here.

The partisan move on the part of leadership leaves states on the hook for CHIP programs that are quickly running of money. As our blog highlighted last week, states face growing pressure as dollars dwindle and notification requirements prompt many states to consider action to disenroll children. Georgetown Center for Children and Families charts out those pressures in the following report. Community Health Centers, too, are feeling the pressure. According to Politico, Nuestra Clinica Del Valle, a Texas-based Community Health Center, received an email notice warning them of funding expiration.

CHIP now moves to the Senate and faces an uphill battle. In the interim, a number of states are stepping up to do the work that the Congress is not doing. In Arizona, Governor Ducey is working to identify funds to bridge any federal gap in funding for the state’s CHIP program. Like Minnesota, Arizona is one of a number of states set to run out funding before the end of the year. Advocates need to continue a steady drumbeat to help CHIP cross the finish line.

CHIP is a fight for families. As advocate superstar’s Little Lobbyist highlight in their story collection – CHIP is vital to keep families strong and stable – physically, emotionally and financially. See their stories here, and make sure that the families you support are telling their story too. Keep up the good work!