NBC Frets GOP ‘Likely’ to ‘Punt’ on Funding Child Health Insurance Program

After congressional Republicans scored a major victory with their tax reform bill on Wednesday, despite the apocalyptic hyperbole of the Democrats and their media lackeys, NBC was looking ahead and began to lay the groundwork for their future screeds against Republicans. During NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt and Correspondent Kasie Hunt gave their viewers a preview of what they’re going to target the GOP over next: Their heartlessness in not funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

And the tax overhaul may be done, but Congress's end of the year to do list includes urgent matters like resolving funding for a major children's health insurance program and preventing a government shutdown,” announced Holt following their two segments on tax reform. “Money runs out on Friday, so as Kasie Hunt reports, there is no time to waste.

Hunt began her report with telling the story of Reynolds family were “five of their 10 children rely on the Children's Health Insurance Program to cover $100,000 in health care costs each year.” Their mother told Hunt that for them, CHIP meant life or death.

According to Hunt, some nine million kids take advantage of the program, but “funding expired at the end of the September and Congress hasn’t passed a fix. Across the country, families have been warned they could lose coverage and Congress is arguing over a permanent solution.

 

 

And as Hunt was wrapping up her report, she speculated that the Republicans were looking to kick the can down the road until possibly early next year. “And tonight Republicans still aren’t sure what they are going to do about keeping the government open, making it much more likely that they are going to punt on the hard questions like children's health insurance and dreamers until after the holidays,” she huffed to Holt.

What Hunt failed to mention was that the Republicans already had a funding solution for CHIP that was already halfway through Congress. As Townhall’s Guy Benson noted when he was raking Jimmie Kimmel over the coals for his lies about the GOP and children’s health care:

As for CHIP, House Republicans passed a five-year renewal of the program in early November, with most lower chamber Democrats voting against the measure because they "oppose[d] how the legislation is paid for," The Hill reported at the time … The GOP-controlled Senate Finance Committee also advanced its own version of a CHIP renewal earlier in the year, but the full Senate has yet to agree upon and approve a finalized plan.

Benson also noted that Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who helped create CHIP, was “walking and chewing legislative gum at the same time” by working on the Senate’s CHIP plan and crafting the tax reform bill. “In fact, Hatch called CHIP a must-pass priority and reaffirmed his commitment to getting it done,” He reported.

Relevant portions of the transcript below:

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NBC Nightly News
December 20, 2017
7:05:46 PM Eastern

LESTER HOLT: And the tax overhaul may be done, but Congress's end of the year to do list includes urgent matters like resolving funding for a major children's health insurance program and preventing a government shutdown. Money runs out on Friday, so as Kasie Hunt reports, there is no time to waste.

[Cuts to video]

KASIE HUNT: With the holidays fast approaching, the Reynolds family is waiting for Congress, not Santa.

(…)

HUNT: Five of their 10 children rely on the Children's Health Insurance Program to cover $100,000 in health care costs each year.

(…)

HUNT: Nine million children are covered by the program which helps kids who don't qualify for Medicaid and can't afford private insurance. Funding expired at the end of the September and Congress hasn’t passed a fix. Across the country, families have been warned they could lose coverage and Congress is arguing over a permanent solution. They are also arguing about the future of more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

(…)

HUNT: The end of year to do list includes billions in funding for disaster relief, reauthorizing the surveillance law that lets the government wiretap foreigners without a warrant, and keeping the government open. Because funding runs out at midnight on Friday.

[Cuts back to live]

And tonight Republicans still aren’t sure what they are going to do about keeping the government open, making it much more likely that they are going to punt on the hard questions like children's health insurance and dreamers until after the holidays. Lester?


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