At this point, Congress' best excuse for not passing a bill to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program has nothing to do with CHIP itself. It's about keeping it around for leverage to help pass other, more controversial measures.
Why it matters: Congress had been fighting about how to pay for a CHIP extension, but new cost estimates have put that issue to bed. Yet Congress still has no real strategy to pass a CHIP bill, months after the program's funding technically expired. And millions of families — who aren't accustomed to Washington's assumptions about what must eventually happen — are unsure what will happen to their sick kids' health insurance.