One of the little-reported provisions in this week’s budget agreement was not short term at all. It was a 6-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), without any major reform whatsoever. Here’s why that’s important.
CHIP, which covers roughly 9 million children, is not family friendly. One parent could be in an employer plan; the other could be in Medicaid; while the children are in CHIP. It is completely government-run. State governments choose the benefits and dictate the prices paid to providers. It is also completely inflexible. For example, parents can’t use CHIP money to buy private insurance or enroll their children in an employer plan. You can think of it as single-payer health insurance for kids.
|John C. Goodman is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the widely acclaimed Independent books, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, and the award-winning, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the Father of Health Savings Accounts.|
Obamacare remains highly controversial and faces ongoing legal and political challenges. Polls show that by a large margin Americans remain opposed to the healthcare law and seek to repeal and replace it. However, the question is: Replace it with what?