Children’s hospitals urge Congress to protect children and families by passing a bipartisan five-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program
(CHIP) as soon as possible.
We are pleased that members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have developed bipartisan CHIP policies reflecting the needs of children, including a five-year extension of the program that provides for robust CHIP funding, and continue important beneficiary protections such as the Maintenance of Effort provision, funding for the Pediatric Quality Measures Program, express lane eligibility, and outreach and enrollment grants. These policies are also included in the bipartisan Senate proposal on CHIP, and we thank the committees of jurisdiction in both chambers for including these crucial policies.
If CHIP funding is not extended soon, CHIP-enrolled children may become underinsured or uninsured altogether. CHIP is an important bipartisan health coverage program for over 6 million low-income children. CHIP builds off of a strong Medicaid
program by providing age-appropriate and affordable coverage for children who fall above Medicaid eligibility levels, but lack access to other health coverage options.
Concerning reports indicate that states are taking steps to limit programs in order to address the looming funding shortfall, despite receiving federal redistribution funds. We urge Congress to act now by enacting a strong, bipartisan five-year extension of CHIP and avoid potentially disastrous consequences that could be caused by further delay
Children’s hospitals thank Congress for its long-term bipartisan commitment to CHIP and the children it serves. We look forward to working with lawmakers to maintain a strong CHIP program and strengthen health care for children in the future.