Statement: Senate Rejects Cuts to Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program
Earlier this year, Congress passed–and the President signed–a law authorizing funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional 10 years. In passing the 10-year extension of CHIP, Congress acted on a bipartisan basis to provide stability for the program that families, states, and providers need. More recently, when the Trump administration proposed a rescission package of $15 billion to Congress, $7 billion or nearly half of the entire package came from just the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Today, that plan was rejected in a 48-50 vote in the Senate.
The following statement comes from Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children:
This afternoon Congress targeted the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)– a wildly cost-effective and popular program with the American people–in the name of deficit reduction. This set a dangerous precedent indicating that children are responsible for the rising budget deficit though they are not. The nine million children and families who depend on CHIP already faced months of uncertainty, when its funding expired before Congress took long-overdue action to extend CHIP funding for ten years. After breathing a short sigh of relief, however, the long-term stability and protection these families fought to ensure was once again threatened from those that sought to target our most vulnerable. We are relieved that 50 senators defended the health care of children.
We maintain, along with a coalition of children’s health care advocates, that any changes to any changes to our health care system must further improve coverage for children and pregnant women, and we must not backtrack, threaten, or needlessly put at risk the gains we have made.