In late December, President Biden signed a sprawling appropriations package (HR 2617) which sets the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2023. Many elements of the omnibus budget prioritized kids and families including reauthorizing the MIECHV program, increasing child care funding, and enhancing CHIP and Medicaid programs across the country.
The omnibus contained language from the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022, which passed the House in November and included:
- Reauthorization of the MIECHV program through 2027
- An initial increase in funding of $100 million, bringing the program’s full appropriation to $500 million
- Subsequent funding increases of $50 million annually (except for a $150 million increase in 2027)
- Establishing a publicly available dashboard that reports program outcomes
- Requiring activities to reduce unnecessary data collection, reporting, and other administrative requirements of the program
- Allowing for virtual home visits
In a victory for the child care sector, the budget contained a 30.1% increase for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to over $8 billion. Pennsylvania will get about $56.3 million more in 2023 compared to 2022. It also contained increases for Head Start and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA).
The omnibus also contained multiple provisions related to Medicaid and CHIP. First, it delinked the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement from the COVID-19 public health emergency and set the gradual decrease of the federal match for Medicaid to begin on March 31, 2023. In an exciting win for advocates, the law now requires all states to provide 12 months of continuous eligibility for children in both Medicaid and CHIP (previously only available for children up to age 4 in Medicaid, but all children in CHIP). Funding and authorization for the CHIP program extended two years to 2029, and the 12-month postpartum coverage option for CHIP and Medicaid was made permanent (this provision was initially supposed to sunset after five years). If you’d like to read more about the health care provisions of the omnibus, please check out SayAhhh!, the blog by our partners at the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.