See more of the story

Reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program used to be a fairly painless, bipartisan process.

But few things are painless or bipartisan in Washington these days.

More than a month after Congress let the program lapse, a reauthorization bill passed the House on Friday on a mostly party-line vote to restore coverage to 9 million low-income children, including more than 125,000 in Minnesota.

The catch, and it’s a big one, is that the bill would pay for children’s health care with cuts to other health programs. The House bill would cut money from the Affordable Care Act’s public health fund, shorten the grace period for people who miss premium payments and charge the wealthy higher Medicare premiums. The controversy makes a Senate vote on the bill unlikely.

Minnesota exhausted last year’s $110 million CHIP budget and is fast running through $3.6 million in extra federal funding for pregnant women, older children and toddlers in the program. The state risks steep federal penalties if funding isn’t restored by December.

Friday’s vote split the delegation. All three Republicans and Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson voted for reauthorization. The remaining four Democrats voted against.

“Republicans need to stop playing games and reauthorize these programs before Minnesota faces a critical December 1 deadline to continue coverage for children and expecting mothers,” said Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum.

Republican Rep. Jason Lewis said his yes vote would ensure “high-quality, accessible health care for low-income kids in Minnesota.”

mayoral hopefuls in both cities

Sixteen candidates are running for mayor in Minneapolis and 10 people running for mayor in St. Paul.


Troy Benjegerdes

Raymond Dehn

Al Flowers

Jacob Frey

Charlie Gers

Tom Hoch

Betsy Hodges (incumbent)

Gregg A. Iverson

Nekima Levy-Pounds

Ronald Lischeid

L.A. Nik

David Rosenfeld

Aswar Rahman

Ian Simpson

Captain Jack Sparrow

David John Wilson

St. Paul

Sharon Anderson

Melvin Carter

Trahern Crews

Elizabeth Dickinson

Tom Goldstein

Pat Harris

Chris Holbrook

Tim Holden

Dai Thao

Barnabas Joshua Yshua

For more information about the candidates and other city races on the ballot, go to