The nation’s governors yesterday urged Congress to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for five years, at the current enhanced federal matching rate. “Certainty of funding in the near-term is needed so that states may appropriately budget and plan for their upcoming fiscal years,” leaders of the National Governors Association said in a letter to the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Finance committees. “If federal CHIP funding is not extended soon, states will have no choice but to begin notifying families, altering provider contracts and taking other steps to terminate their programs, regardless of any assurances Congress may provide about extending the program at a later date…. Given the uncertainty around health reform at the national level and the relative instability of the private health insurance market in many states, it is imperative that Congress act soon.” Without congressional action, federal funding for CHIP is set to expire Sept. 30.

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