Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Federal CHIP funding expired in September. Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program just keeps getting cheaper. The Congressional Budget Office originally said a five-year extension would cost $8.2 billion over a decade, then lowered the cost to $800 million. Today, CBO said a longer, 10-year extension would ultimately save taxpayers money — about $6 billion over a decade.

Why it matters: Congress’ failure to extend federal CHIP funding is not the result of a fight over CHIP, but rather a fight over how to offset the costs of extending CHIP. Now, though, there are potentially no costs to offset. That ought to make this much easier for Congress to (finally) accomplish.

How it works: Funding CHIP does cost money, obviously. So how does it work out into a net savings? It's because covering kids through CHIP is cheaper than the alternatives, CBO says.

  • If kids aren't covered by CHIP, they'd likely be covered by some combination of Medicaid, subsidized private insurance through the Affordable Care Act, or parents' employer-based health plans (which the federal government also subsidizes). That would ultimately cost more than simply paying for CHIP, CBO said.
  • That analysis has changed since Republicans repealed the ACA's individual mandate. Repealing the mandate will likely cause premiums for ACA coverage to rise dramatically, and that's why CHIP coverage is suddenly so much cheaper when compared to private insurance.
  • Why is a 10-year CHIP extension cheaper than a five-year extension? Because the proposal CBO evaluated would gradually lower the federal government's share of overall CHIP funding, pushing more of those costs to the states over time. The longer the extension, the more it reflects those savings.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.