Campaign for Children Disappointed Congress Missed CHIP Funding Deadline
WASHINGTON—The First Focus Campaign for Children is deeply disappointed that Congress allowed the funding deadline to expire for the popular and bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers nearly 9 million low-income American children and 370,000 pregnant women.
Created in 1997, CHIP, along with Medicaid, has helped reduce the number of uninsured American children by a remarkable 68 percent, with more than 95 percent of all kids in the U.S. currently enrolled in some form of insurance coverage.
First Focus Campaign for Children Bruce Lesley said:
"Instead of focusing their resources on the health and well-being of the 9 million children and pregnant women CHIP covers, many states are now being forced to waste taxpayer dollars on actions to end the popular program.
Congress’ failure to act before the deadline means states have to send disenrollment notices to struggling families and figure out ways to stretch their remaining federal dollars as long as possible. Some may be able to keep kids covered a few months, while others only have a few weeks.
It was irresponsible for Congressional leaders to leave Washington last week without renewing funding for a successful and effective program that has always enjoyed support from Republicans and Democrats.
There is a bipartisan bill sitting on their desks that will extend CHIP funding for five years: The Keep Kids’ Insurance and Dependable Secure Act (KIDS). We urge Congress to pass it immediately so millions of families don’t continue living with the uncertainty of losing health coverage for their kids."