The Congressional Budget Office is getting many requests for an estimate of the cost of maintaining current State Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollment levels, CBO officials report.

Congress would have to provide $1.4 billion in additional funding to maintain 2007 enrollment levels, and the net federal cost of providing that funding would be about $800 million, CBO officials estimate in a new memorandum.

Congress already has provided $5 billion in SCHIP funding, but it has ordered states to stop using the money after Dec. 14.

“Without additional funding, but assuming that states would be able to use the funding in the continuing resolution for the entire fiscal year, we anticipate that a total of 21 states will exhaust their SCHIP funding in 2008, and that the first states to exhaust their funding will do so in March 2008,” CBO officials write in the memo.

The cuts could increase federal Medicaid spending about $600 million, by leading some states to expand Medicaid eligibility, officials write.