House Vote Today Would Defund Children’s Health October 1st
Washington – A stopgap budget measure scheduled for a floor vote in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.J.Res. 59) intended to defund the Affordable Care Act would also cut funding for the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by 70 percent on October 1, 2013, according to the bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children.
CHIP funding was extended through September 2015, by Congress, as part of the ACA national health care law. The House will consider a procedural measure (H.Res. 352) today, which was drafted yesterday by the House Rules Committee to amend H.J.Res. 59. If the House passes that “rule,” the joint resolution would rescind funding made available to CHIP through the ACA. According to a First Focus Campaign for Children analysis of the resolution, its net result would be a $13.3 billion October 1st drop in CHIP funding from $19.0 billion to $5.7 billion.
“CHIP has been bipartisan from the start and, although this appears to be unintentional, it is important to note that the health coverage of millions of children would be put at risk,” said First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley.
CHIP was enacted in 1997, by a Republican-controlled Congress and Democratic President Bill Clinton. It provides quality, affordable health insurance coverage through private insurance companies to an estimated nine million children nationwide. In partnership with Medicaid, CHIP has protected children from losing health care in the wake of a recession that cost millions of parents their employer-sponsored health insurance. State governments received just under $10 billion in federal funding through CHIP in federal fiscal year 2013.
“Unintended or not, the consequences here would be devastating for children and state governments. Before lawmakers cast a vote for this proposal, they should fully understand the implications of what they’re voting for and protect the health coverage of our nation’s children,” said Lesley.
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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 www.ffcampaignforchildren.org.