MARK: AS REPUBLICANS IN WASHINGTON FIGHT TO PASS A TAX REFORM PLAN, THE CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM – OR CHIP – IS RUNNING OUT OF MONEY COLLEEN: THE BILL PROVIDES HEALTH INSURANCE FOR CHILDREN WHOSE FAMILIES DON’T QUALIFY FOR MEDICAID, BUT CAN’T AFFORD PRIVATE INSURANCE

COLLEEN: NBC4’S WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT JESSICA SMITH IS LIVE TONIGHT IN OUR NATION’S CAPITOL WITH MORE ON WHAT THIS MEANS FOR CHILDREN JESSICA: MORE THAN 200- THOUSAND ARE COVERED THROUGH CHIP IN OHIO

FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS, THE PROGRAM HAS HAD BIPARTISAN SUPPORT BUT CONGRESS MISSED A SEPTEMBER 30TH DEADLINE TO EXTEND FUNDING FOR CHIP — AND NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME, STATES LIKE OHIO ARE RUNNING OUT OF MONEY TO KEEP THE PROGRAM GOING NINE MILLION CHILDREN COULD SOON LOSE THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE — AND SENATOR SHERROD BROWN SAYS CONGRESS IS TO BLAME SEN SHERROD BROWN ON THE FLOOR: “SPEAKER RYAN AND LEADER MCCONNELL WOULD RATHER WORRY ABOUT TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH//THAT’S WHY MORE IMPORTANT, MR

PRESIDENT, THAN TAKING CARE OF 209,000 CHILDREN IN OHIO” A COMMITTEE PASSED A BILL TO EXTEND FUNDING TO THE CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM — BUT LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL STILL HASN’T PUT IT ON THE SENATE FLOOR FOR A VOTE NOW, AT LEAST SIX STATES — INCLUDING OHIO, COLORADO, CALIFORNIA AND OTHERS — COULD RUN OUT OF MONEY FOR THE PROGRAM BY THE END OF THE YEAR, OR EARLY JANUARY SHERROD BROWN: “209,000 CHILDREN ARE ABOUT TO GET A LETTER — OR THEIR FAMILIES ARE — SAYING YOUR INSURANCE IS GOING TO BE GONE MAYBE IN JANUARY

” REPUBLICANS SAY THEY WANT TO GET THE BILL PASSED TOO IN A STATEMENT, SENATOR ROB PORTMAN SAID IN PART -“I STRONGLY SUPPORT THE CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAMI WOULD URGE THE SENATE TO PASS OUR BIPARTISAN PROPOSAL AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE

” SENATOR MIKE ROUNDS OF SOUTH DAKOTA, SAYS THERE’S A REASON CHIP HASN’T MOVED FORWARD SEN MIKE ROUNDS : I THINK THEY WANT TO FIND SOME OTHER ITEMS, THAT ARE PERHAPS AREN’T AS POPULAR AS CHIP TO PUT THEM IN WITH CHIP TO GET THOSE THINGS THROUGH THE FLOOR AS WELL I THINK THAT’S WHAT’S HOLDING IT UP” ROUNDS SAID TIME ON THE SENATE FLOOR IS LIMITED – BUT BROWN ARGUES CHILDREN SHOULD TAKE PRIORITY OVER TAX REFORM

SEN SHERROD BROWN : A BUNCH OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS THAT GET INSURANCE, PAID FOR BY TAXPAYERS, TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM CHILDREN IS DAMN NEAR CRIMINAL” JESSICA: SENATORS BROWN AND PORTMAN ARE BOTH ON THE FINANCE COMMITTEE, WHICH PASSED THE BIPARTISAN PLAN FOR CHIP FUNDING EARLIER THIS FALL THAT BILL WOULD EXTEND FUNDING FOR FIVE YEARS BUT AGAIN, THE FULL SENATE HAS NOT VOTED ON IT LIVE IN WASHINGTON, I’M JESSICA SMITH

COLLEEN: IF STATES HAVE TO END THEIR PROGRAMS, WHAT OPTIONS WILL THESE CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES HAVE? JESSICA:

Source: Youtube