PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2020 


GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander comes to the defense of Dr. Anthony Fauci; the NAACP goes to bat over student debt and Election 2020.


2020Talks - October 20, 2020 


Early voting starts in Florida, and North Carolina allows election officials to start the ballot curing process. Plus, Trump's attacks on Dr. Fauci.

Virginia, Other States Face Chaos as Congress Delays CHIP Funding

Doctors say they are worried that more - and sicker - children will show up in emergency rooms if Congress fails to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program. (Pixabay)
Doctors say they are worried that more - and sicker - children will show up in emergency rooms if Congress fails to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program. (Pixabay)
December 21, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. – Healthcare systems, including Virginia's, are now bracing for chaos as Congress failed to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program.

According to a new analysis by the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, half of all state CHIP programs will have to shut down by the end of next month. Five states, including Virginia, won't even last that long.

Linda Nablo helps run the Virginia Family Access to Medical Insurance Security program. As Congress has broken repeated promises to deal with the issue, she said they may now have to tell the families of 100,000 children their health coverage could end in a few weeks.

"I may now have to mail out another letter, saying. 'No, it's not January 31, it's much earlier than that.’” Nablo said. "If you're a parent, especially if you're a parent of a very sick child, what do you think?"

A plan to fund CHIP by cutting preventive and other care has backing in the House. But congressional leaders set that aside to pass the big tax bill, which includes corporate and estate tax cuts.

Some House Republicans argue that CHIP funding has to be offset to avoid increasing the federal deficit. But as they debate those issues, emergency room doctors say they're planning for when the FAMIS children start showing up after losing coverage - often much sicker than they would be with it.

Dr. Sam Bartle at Children's Hospital of Richmond said he expects to see those parents trying to make heartbreaking decisions about their children's illnesses.

"'Should I bring them in now or can I wait? Is his wheezing, his difficulty breathing bad enough yet to come in? Can I wait until later to see if it gets better?' For some conditions, that can be deadly,” Bartle said.

Virginia is not the only state in this situation. Alabama reduced the number of children without health coverage to 3 percent - in part by getting 95,000 kids into the CHIP program.

Alabama CHIP director, Cathy Caldwell, said many of those families are starting to panic.

"Our phones are ringing off the wall,” Caldwell said. "We have panicked families wondering what in the world they have as options."

Caldwell and Nablo both stressed that, as the funding runs low, programs start to incur long-term damage.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA