First Focus and 1200+ Groups tell Congress: Save CHIP
Ari Goldberg (Former Staff)Health
WASHINGTON–More than 1,200 organizations from all 50 states today sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to protect the 8.9 million children who rely on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for health coverage.
On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will discuss CHIP during a hearing on safety net health programs.
Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus, which spearheaded the letter, said:
“Renewing CHIP would be a win-win for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Everybody knows CHIP is an effective program that protects millions of kids.
In fact, more than 95 percent of American children have health coverage today — an all-time high. Moving backwards should not be an option when it comes to the well-being of our children.
Behind this letter are countless advocates, health care providers, educators, faith leaders, and others across the country. They are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. They are united in the belief that America’s children deserve to live up to their full potential.”
CHIP funding is set to expire on September 30, 2017. Congress last passed a CHIP extension in 2015 with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both chambers. A new long-term extension is urgent as state budgets for Fiscal Year 2018 are counting on CHIP to continue. The absence of an extension will cause administrative chaos for states and significant disruption of coverage for kids who rely on CHIP.
The letter notes that the 8.9 million children who stand to lose CHIP coverage would likely have no other affordable coverage options available to them. Given the uncertainty in the insurance market and, as Congress continues to look at broader health system reforms, it is important that CHIP remains a stable source of coverage for children.
Details of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health (#SubHealth) hearing on Wed, June 14, 2017.