Hickenlooper asks legislators for emergency funding to keep CHIP going

Gov. John Hickenlooper said $9.6 million would serve as a “one-time only bandaid” to keep the vital program going until February.

Denver Health on Bannock in Lincoln Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Colorado’s governor is asking state lawmakers for emergency funding to keep a children’s health insurance program operating because Congress hasn’t decided how to keep it going.

Gov. John Hickenlooper asked the legislature’s budget committee Tuesday for $9.6 million to keep covering children and pregnant women in the program through the end of February. It currently has enough money to keep operating through January.

Hickenlooper called it a “one-time only bandaid” until Congress acts.

The program provides low-cost coverage to children and pregnant women in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Hickenlooper was one of 12 governors from both parties who asked Congress last week to reauthorize funding.

Fresh funding ran out Oct. 1. Since then, some states have relied on unspent funds to keep it going.