A letter sent to Senator Orrin Hatch by the Congressional Budget Office stated that it had lowered its estimated cost to finance the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The CBO's original cost estimate for a five-year extension was $8.2 billion, but the revised estimate said it would only cost $800 million.

According to The Hill, legislators in Washington D.C. could add renewing CHIP to a government funding bill that has to pass before January 19.

In the letter, CBO Director Keith Hall explained that if CHIP wasn't extended some parents would have to enroll their children in ObamaCare plans. Since Republican lawmakers repealed the individual mandate for the Affordable Care Act, it has become more expensive than CHIP.

The CBO said that if CHIP funding was extended for 10 years it would actually decrease the deficit by $6 billion.

Several Arkansas legislators have supported the reauthorization of CHIP, including Senator Tom Cotton and Representative French Hill.

Rep. Hill said he's aware of the "critical importance" of CHIP for children across both the United States and Arkansas.

"There could be as long as a six year authorization of CHIP," stated Caroline Thorman, Rep. Hill's communication director, "but Rep. Hill and his colleagues are ironing out the details."

Sen. John Boozman's office said he's "committed to getting CHIP reauthorized," but doesn't have conditions on the length of the renewal or any reform that may happen.

Rep. Steve Womack believes it's important to make sure CHIP is on "proper fiscal footing for an extended period of time." The program helps nearly 9 million low-income children with healthcare insurance.

Funding for ARKids is set to run out in March if Congress doesn't reauthorize the program before then.