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Health Law

An introduction to legal research in some of the major aspects of Health Law.


The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) "provides health coverage to eligible children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government."

CHIP benefits for eligible children vary by state, but all states provide routine check-ups, immunizations, doctor visits, prescriptions, dental and vision care, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, laboratory and X-ray services, and emergency services. States may choose to provide additional services. For more information on how state programs may be organized (and information on how each state has organized its own program), see the CHIP State Program Information

Part of the Library of Congress, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) researches and prepares reports for Congress on a variety of topics. Typically, these reports are not made widely available to the public, but there are some exceptions. is a bipartisan coalition dedicated to making these reports to everyone online for free.

CRS has prepared multiple reports on CHIP including:

CHIP and the ACA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Requirement: In Brief provides a concise summary of CHIP, before describing the requirements and means by which states can meet those requirements by which children must be covered CHIP-eligible children must be covered.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA; P.L. 114-10) provides a thorough explanation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

Health Insurance: A Primer provides an overview of the various means by which Americans obtain health insurance, including private insurance, employer-sponsored insurance, and public programs such as CHIP. Key federal laws are also provided.

State Children’s Health Insurance Program: An Overview provides a thorough overview of the CHIP program, including the program design, the separate programs that comprise CHIP, and a description of funding provisions.

Health Policy: Resources for Congressional Staff “outlines major government stakeholders as well as relevant laws, regulations, federal programs, sources of data, and Congressional Research Service (CRS) products.”

Federal Financing for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides an overview of CHIP funding, explaining the federal-state split and from where funding comes.

Comparison of the Bills to Extend State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Funding compares the bills from the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Both would extend CHIP federal funding through FY2022, but differ on other provisions.

Other Key Players


The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) “is a non-partisan legislative branch agency that provides policy and data analysis and makes recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the states on a wide array of issues affecting Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).” MACPAC “publish[es] issue briefs and data reports throughout the year to support policy analysis and program accountability.” MACPAC is responsible for submitting reports to Congress by March 15 and June 15 each year. In order to do so, MACPAC holds public meetings and consults with state officials, congressional and executive branch staff, beneficiaries, health care providers, researchers, and policy experts.

Specifically, the Commission compiles Medicaid and CHIP data and provides the publication annually. See Highlights from MACStats for the December 2017 presentation. More information on CHIP, including design features, eligibility requirements, financing information, and a list of featured publications, is available here

Background Legal Information

Legislative History

Introduced in the House as the “Balanced Budget Act of 1997” (H.R. 2015) by John Kasich (R-OH) on June 24, 1997

House Committee consideration by the Budget

Passed the House on June 25, 1997 (270-162).

Passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent with an amendment.

Conference Report (H. Rept. 105-217) filed on July 30, 1997.

Conference Report agreed to in House on July 30, 1997 (346 - 85).

Conference Report agreed to in Senate on July 31, 1997 (85-15).

Signed into law on August 5, 1997.

Became Public Law No: 105-33.

Line item veto by President on August 11, 1997 (dealing with a provision dealing with certain taxes, fees, or assessments collected by New York State from a health care provider. See H.R.2436 - Disapproving the cancellation transmitted by the President on August 11, 1997, regarding Public Law 105-33 and S.1144 - A bill disapproving the cancellation transmitted by the President on August 11, 1997, regarding Public Law 105-33.)  

Major Amendments

Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009

Introduced in the House to reauthorize the CHIP program through FY2013 at increased levels (H.R. 2); Passed by the Senate on January 29, 2009 with an amendment. The House agreed to the Senate amendment on February 4, 2009. Signed by the President and became Public Law No: 111-3 on February 4, 2009.

Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015

Introduced in the House to extend funding for CHIP through FY 2017 (H.R. 2); Passed by the Senate on April 14, 2014. Signed by the President and became Public Law No: 114-10 on April 16, 2015.

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