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CHIP remains critical link for US children’s health: Landmark program still vital, even with Affordable Care Act


The Nation’s Health

By Kim Krisberg

With federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program set to expire in September, children’s health advocates are calling on policymakers to take action on behalf of the millions of children at risk of losing access to affordable and comprehensive care.

Often hailed as a model of a successful children’s health care program, CHIP covers 8 million children who are not eligible for Medicaid and whose families cannot afford private insurance. In fact, research has found that since the program’s launch in 1997, the uninsured rate among U.S. children has fallen by half, from 14 percent in 1997 to 7 percent in 2012. But while federal legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate that would extend CHIP funding for an additional four years, advocates are concerned that misperceptions about the Affordable Care Act and health insurance marketplaces could muddy the political will to reauthorize CHIP funding in a timely fashion. As part of the Affordable Care Act, CHIP was authorized through 2019, though its funding was only extended through 2015…

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