U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and others are sounding the alarm over the expiration of federal funding that provides health insurance to 116,000 lower-income children in Michigan, saying cancellation notices may be sent to families as early as next month despite bipartisan support for continuing the program.
The Children's Health Insurance Program wasn't reauthorized by the Republican-led Congress, and lawmakers are at odds over how to pay for a five-year extension. CHIP funds programs such as MIChild, which provides health and dental coverage for children.
And in the wake of Flint's water crisis, Michigan also is allowed to spend some of the federal money to remove lead hazards from homes.
Stabenow, a Democrat, says there will be "very serious" consequences if Congress doesn't extend funding for CHIP and community health centers.