Securing the Future of Children’s Health: The Importance of Making CHIP PermanentHealth
Access to affordable and comprehensive health care is essential for the well-being and future success of our nation’s children. Established in 1997, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has played a pivotal role in providing millions of children with the vital coverage they need. However, the uncertain future of CHIP calls for urgent action to make it a permanent program now. Recently, Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-CA) reintroduced the Children’s Health Insurance Program Permanency (CHIPP) Act for the 118th Congress.
The CHIPP Act (H.R. 4771) would permanently fund CHIP and related programs that support the development of child health quality measures, as well as outreach and enrollment efforts. H.R. 4771 also extends the Express Lane Eligibility option, which allows states to use information from other programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to streamline eligibility determinations for children. Finally, the bill provides flexibility for states to expand access to CHIP for more families.
The CHIPP Act is a critical first step in securing the future of children’s health. Passing it to make CHIP permanent will:
Safeguard Children’s Health:
CHIP has been a lifeline for children from low-income families who may not qualify for Medicaid but struggle to afford private health insurance. The program ensures that children receive critical health care services, including preventive care, vaccinations, check-ups, dental and vision care, and necessary treatments. By making CHIP permanent, we can ensure a stable and reliable source of healthcare coverage for our children, guaranteeing their access to essential services that promote their overall health and development.
Promote Prevention and Early Intervention:
CHIP has been a crucial driver in promoting preventive care and early intervention for children’s health issues. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, screenings, and early identification of developmental delays or chronic conditions are pivotal for addressing health concerns before they become more severe and costly to treat. By ensuring CHIP’s permanence, we prioritize the health and well-being of our children by providing the necessary resources for early detection and intervention.
Reduce Health Disparities:
Children from historically excluded communities – in particular, Black, Brown, and Indigenous – face significant health disparities. CHIP has been instrumental in narrowing these gaps by providing quality, comprehensive, and affordable coverage to these populations. Making CHIP permanent is an essential step toward addressing health disparities and ensuring equitable access to care for these groups. CHIP’s permanence would demonstrate a commitment to promoting health equity and leveling the playing field for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background or racial/ethnic identity.
Promote Academic Success and Overall Well-being:
Health and education are intricately intertwined, with one greatly impacting the other. By ensuring that children have access to comprehensive health care through CHIP, we create an environment that supports their academic success. Healthy children are more likely to attend school regularly, participate actively, and achieve their full potential. Moreover, CHIP’s coverage extends beyond physical health, encompassing mental health services that contribute to emotional well-being and overall development. A permanent CHIP program would contribute to improving educational outcomes and set the stage for a brighter future for our children and the country as a whole.
Relieve Financial Burdens on Families:
One of the greatest benefits of CHIP is its ability to alleviate the financial strain on families with limited resources. By providing affordable health care coverage, CHIP allows parents to prioritize their children’s health without sacrificing other essential needs. Making CHIP permanent offers stability and peace of mind for families, eliminating the uncertainty that arises from temporary funding extensions and the threat of program discontinuation.
As a society, we must prioritize the health and well-being of our children. CHIP has been a lifeline for millions of children, providing them with essential healthcare coverage and support. Making CHIP a permanent fixture in our healthcare system is crucial to ensure stability, continuity of care, and the long-term health of our nation’s children. By investing in their health today, we invest in a healthier and brighter future for all. Congress should pass the CHIPP Act and protect the health of our most precious resource: Our children.
For more information see our CHIP Permanent fact sheet: https://firstfocus.org/resources/fact-sheet/chip-permanent-its-a-matter-of-fairness
To follow the CHIPP Act’s progress: https://www.ffccscorecard.org/billtracker