CHIP

The Trump administration is unveiling a multibillion-dollar roster of proposed spending cuts but is leaving this year's $1.3 trillion catchall spending bill alone.

With the clock ticking on the current stopgap bill that funds the federal government through Feb. 8, Congress is steeling itself to consider another must-pass budget bill.

Once again, health care could be caught in the crosshairs.

During previous debates over government funding, it was the high-profile Children's Health Insurance Program that went months without reauthorization and became a bargaining chip. A deal in January extended it for six years.

When parts of the federal government ground to halt this past weekend, Linda Nablo, who oversees the Children's Health Insurance Program in Virginia, had two letters drafted and ready to go out to the families of 68,000 children insured through the program, depending on what happened.

One said the federal government had failed to extend CHIP after funding expired in September and the stopgap funding had run out. The program would be shutting down and families would lose their insurance.

A brief, partial shutdown of the federal government ended Monday, as the Senate and House approved legislation that would keep federal dollars flowing until Feb. 8, as well as fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for the next six years.

Dr. Mahendra Patel, a pediatric cancer doctor, has begun giving away medications to some of his young patients, determined not to disrupt their treatments for serious illnesses like leukemia. He's worried Congress will fail to renew funding soon for a health program that pays for the care of millions of children across the country.