Bipartisan Funding Extension for Children’s Health
September 13, 2017
Senators announce bipartisan extension of children’s health insurance program; U.S. Producer Price Index up 0.2% in August, vs. expected 0.3% increase; U.S. Household Incomes Rose in 2016 to Record High.
- Senators announce bipartisan extension of children’s health insurance program. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could be extended for five years under an agreement whose terms were first announced by Senate Finance Committee leaders on Tuesday night. According to a Senate aide, the five-year extension includes a gradual reduction in enhanced federal matching funds first included in the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2020. Republicans have objected to the enhanced funding, which means that 12 states don’t contribute anything to the joint state-federal program. The gradual phase out will give the 12 states time to adjust their budgets. Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (Ore.) said that the proposal would also provide additional protections for low-income children and flexibility for states. The question still remains about whether the legislation will pass as a stand-alone bill, or if additional provisions, such as a bipartisan ObamaCare stabilization bill, will be attached. Federal funding for the program, which provides care for 9 million low-and middle-income children, is set to expire at the end of September. Senate members said that full legislative language will be released in the coming days. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. Producer Price Index up 0.2% in August, vs. expected 0.3% increase. U.S. producer prices increased 0.2 percent in August, according to the Labor Department, driven by a surge in the cost of gasoline and signs of a pickup in producer inflation. The increase comes after the producer price index decreased 0.1 percent in July. The index measures the average change over time in prices by producers for domestically produced goods, services, and construction. In the 12 months through August, the producer price index increased 2.4 percent after rising by 1.9 percent in July. Economists had forecast the producer price index gaining 0.3 percent in August and accelerating 2.5 percent from a year ago. The so-called core producer price index, which excludes food, energy and trade services, rose 0.2 percent last month after being unchanged in July. [CNBC]
- U.S. Household Incomes Rose in 2016 to Record High. The U.S. median household income increased to a record last year as the poverty rate fell and the economy grew steadily, according to annual data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Tuesday. Median, inflation-adjusted household income increased 3.2% to $59,039 last year, from $57,230 in 2015. Median incomes for black and Hispanic households rose at more than double the rate of white households, and female householders outpaced males. Meanwhile, the poverty rate declined to 12.7% from 13.5%, representing 40.6 million Americans. [Bloomberg]