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Voters Are in Favor of Shutting Down Government Over Child Healthcare

Two-thirds of voters backed for the shutting down of the federal government to obtain funding for the Child's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in new Morning Consult/Politico national poll that was taken from December 1 - 3.


Lawmakers let CHIP expire on September 30 over a partisan disagreement in reaching funding extension solutions. As a result, state officials have been struggling to search for financial alternatives to keep their programs - which serve nine million children across the country - running.

According to the national poll, 67 percent of respondents were in favor of shutting down the government over CHIP, while 23 percent said they were opposed to letting government spending expire until the renewal of the program.

CHIP advocates are concerned for the future of the program's stability should there be a further delay in funding. Seven leading children's health groups issued a statement, saying:

It is no longer sufficient to offer vague promises of future action, nor is it desirable or sustainable to continue offering patchwork short-term repairs.

Congress must act NOW to enact the strong five-year extension of CHIP as supported by both the House and Senate, free of harmful offsets, to avoid compounding the damage already done in states and to children and families,” the groups — including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Association and the Children’s Defense Fund — stated.

The Morning Consult reported that those in favor of CHIP "was strong regardless of a voter’s political affiliation. Seventy-seven percent of Democrats said they support a government shutdown over CHIP funding, as did 63 percent of both independents and Republicans."

House Republicans introduced a temporary solution that will offer a two-week government extension with a short-term spending bill. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare will determine which states would receive a residual pool of CHIP funds left unused from previous fiscal years.

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The majority in favor of CHIP possibly stems from the efforts of repealing Obamacare.

Robert Blendon, a health policy director at Harvard University, told the Consult in a phone interview, "I think from the prior debate there’s this real sensitivity that we should not take coverage away from people," particularly children.

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The survey of 1,997 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

Hopefully, there will be a resolve before resorting to a government shutdown.

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H/T - thehill, morningconsult