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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 12: Four year old Melanie Carrigg, who has Down Syndrome, gestures as Democratic senators hold a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 12, 2017 in Washington D.C. Families with children with medically complex conditions attended the press conference to highlight potentially life-threatening effects the Cruz Amendment could pose to people with preexisting conditions. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican and Democratic Senate negotiators say they've reached a deal to extend financing for the popular children's health insurance program for five years.
In a concession to Republicans, the agreement would phase out extra federal funds that have been provided to states for several years.
If finalized and approved by Congress, the agreement would avert a cash crunch at the end of this month. That is when money for the federal-state program expires.
The federal government pays around $7 billion annually for the program, with states paying a small share.
It provides health coverage to around 8 million low-income children and pregnant women.
Republicans have long chafed at an additional 23 percent subsidy the government has sent states since President Barack Obama's health care law was enacted in 2010.