ISSUE #7: CHIP and MIECHV Reauthorization

Congressional reauthorization discussions include state funding matches and program cuts.

Despite bipartisan support, Congress has yet to reauthorize funding for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs (MIECHV). Funding for MIECHV ended on September 30, 2017, alongside funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). MIECHV provides $400 million in federal funds to support home visiting programs. Due to Congress’s inaction, as many as 12 states may be forced to freeze enrollment for these programs. The House Ways and Means Committee passed its own version of reauthorization that tied future funding to states’ willingness to match funds. The Senate committee passed a version without the match requirement.

CHIP funding was addressed by Congress on December 21, 2017, but provided only a temporary solution that extends funding until March 2018. The debate regarding funding hinges upon how to pay for the program. Republicans have proposed program cuts to offset tax cuts, and Democrats have argued for funding without additional program cuts.