Roadblocks to Coverage for Children: Implications of Procedural Cuts in Medicaid and CHIP

The number of uninsured children reached the lowest level on record in 2008 and 2009. The success in covering children is attributed to expanding eligibility and simplifying application and renewal procedures in Medicaid/CHIP. Stability in the programs is a result of the short-term fiscal relief provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the federal requirements that states maintain their Medicaid and CHIP eligibility rules and enrollment procedures until broader health reform is implemented. If the stability protections are eliminated, it could contribute to an unraveling of the nation’s success in covering children. The following issue brief looks at potential “backdoor” cuts that, if implemented, would put up barriers to covering children.