Children’s Advocates Applaud Opening of CHIP Debate

Washington – Today, U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-Penn.), full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) released discussion draft legislation extending federal funding for the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The proposal, which makes a number of policy revisions to the successful, bipartisan initiative, is the first offered by congressional Republicans since they took control of both chambers of Congress. Democrats in the Senate and House introduced separate CHIP bills earlier this month. Responding to the discussion draft’s release, the First Focus Campaign for Children released the following statement by its president, Bruce Lesley:

“We have been pushing for months for action on CHIP, and we applaud the leadership of Chairman Pitts, Chairman Upton, and Chairman Hatch in making this opening move. In keeping with CHIP’s track-record of bipartisan compromise, we look forward to working with congressional Republicans and Democrats to move quickly on legislation that continues the CHIP success story. As Congress acts, we’re guided by a few essential principles: most fundamentally, no child should be left worse off by Congress’ actions on CHIP; and in addition, states should continue to have the flexibility to build CHIP programs that meet their families’ needs, and CHIP must continue to serve as a lifeline for kids in hard-working families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.”


The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit

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