This bill was amended from its original form to serve as the legislative vehicle for extending government funding through February 8, 2018; reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years; provide missile defense funding; and extend delays to healthcare taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It would also provide back pay for members of the military and federal workers furloughed due to a government shutdown during fiscal year 2018. The government shutdown ran out of funding on January 19. Originally, the bill restricted the distribution of free, printed copies of the Federal Register to members of Congress and other officers and employees of the U.S. A summary of the bill in its current form can be found below.
This section of the bill would provide funding to keep the government operating at its current spending levels through February 8, 2018. It would also provide funding for missile defense activities, NASA space programs, the Dept. Agriculture’s Electronic Benefits Transfer summer program, Small business Administration 7(a) loans, and make adjusts to subsidized Section 8 housing vouchers for areas affected by major disasters. It would also provide back pay for members of the military and federal workers who were furloughed because of a government shutdown during fiscal year 2018.
This section of the bill would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through fiscal year 2023. Additionally, it’d reauthorize the following through FY2022:
Qualifying-states option, which lets states that provided coverage to now CHIP-eligible children prior to CHIP’s enactment continue to provide coverage.
Express-lane eligibility option, which allows states to use eligibility finding from other public benefit programs to determine children’s eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP.
Beginning in fiscal year 2020, state child-health plans would be allowed to adopt more restrictive eligibility standards for children in families whose income exceeds 300 percent of the poverty line.
The bill would extend funding for the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project and the Pediatric Quality Measures Program through 2023. Funding for outreach and enrollment grants would also be extended, and “parent-mentors” trained to assist families with children who don’t have health insurance would be eligible to receive them.
Under current law states are provided with an enhanced Federal Matching Assistance Percentage (FMAP) through fiscal year 2019. This bill would maintain the enhanced FMAP in fiscal year 2020 before returning to the pre-Obamacare matching rate in FY2021, FY2022, and FY2023.
Healthcare Tax Provisions
The imposition of a 2.3 percent medical device tax would be delayed for two years, so it wouldn’t apply during the 2018 or 2019 calendar years. The so-called “Cadillac tax”, which taxes high-cost employer healthcare coverage, would be delayed until 2022 instead of taking effect in 2020. The annual tax on health insurers would be delayed by one year so that it wouldn’t take effect in calendar year 2019.