Children’s Advocates Applaud Wyden Commitment on CHIP Amendment
Washington – United States Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) Thursday committed to push for a four-year extension of the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program, indicating that he would “pull out all the stops to get a CHIP bill that is four years” during U.S. Senate debate over Medicare provider payment reform legislation. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a reform package last month, which included a two-year CHIP extension. Advocates for children, including the First Focus Campaign for Children, have urged the Senate to deliver a four-year extension, which would fund CHIP through its current authorization, which expires in 2019.
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber was among 24 governors who urged Congress last year to deliver a CHIP funding extension of four years or longer. That group included 13 other Democrats and 10 Republicans, such as Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Just three governors requested a two-year CHIP funding extension. Governor Kitzhaber is no longer in office, but Oregon’s current governor, sent a letter to congressional leaders in March reiterating her Administration’s support for a four-year CHIP funding extension.
Responding to Senator Wyden’s comments, the First Focus Campaign for Children released the following statement from its president, Bruce Lesley:
“Senator Wyden and all of the Democratic members of the Finance Committee have been loud, clear, and consistent on this point – a four-year CHIP extension is the right policy for children’s health. Some of the country’s most conservative Republican governors have said so, too. We applaud Senator Wyden for this emphatic restatement of his intent to push for a four-year CHIP extension, and we urge Republicans and Democrats to work together to craft an amendment that can pass the Senate.”
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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 the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit campaignforchildren.org.