Poll: Majority Support Funding Children’s Health Insurance

A majority of voters support federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, even as some lawmakers are considering nixing the multi-billion dollar program.

A new poll from Morning Consult shows 64 percent of registered back federal funding for CHIP: 37 percent say they want the program to be fully funded, while the other 27 percent say they support funding at a lower dollar amount.

Only 12 percent of respondents say CHIP should not be funded. Twenty-four percent say they have no opinion or are unsure.

CHIP, a program that generally has received bipartisan support since its inception in 1997, provides health coverage for more than 8 million children in families that make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act authorizes CHIP until 2019, but the program, which cost $10.6 billion in fiscal year 2015, will run out of money on Sept. 30, 2017.

The strong level of public support for CHIP may increase pressure on Congress to keep the popular program afloat. Almost half of Democratic respondents, 24 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of independents want CHIP fully funded. Thirty-five percent of GOP voters say they support funding the program if its price tag is lowered.

Groups like First Focus Campaign For Children worry that if the program expires, children previously covered by CHIP will see a reduction in benefits and higher out-of-pocket costs under Obamacare plans. CHIP provides benefits, such as dental coverage, that aren’t required in plans under the Affordable Care Act.

The online poll surveyed a national sample of 2,013 registered voters from Aug. 14 through Aug. 16. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult