On September 30, 2017, funding expired for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This program has been crucial in providing health care coverage for low-income children who are not covered through job-based coverage but also do not qualify for Medicaid. CHIP has been a tremendously successful bipartisan program since its enactment in 1997. To date, CHIP has reduced the number of uninsured children by nearly 68% to a record low and in collaboration with Medicaid helps to cover nearly 40% of all children in the U.S.
Congress must act swiftly to reauthorize CHIP so that nearly 9 million children will not lose their health care coverage. The timing is critical, many states do not have the stopgap funding necessary to cover the cost for their health care. The federal government currently covers approximately 93% of the total costs of CHIP. Without reauthorization of CHIP, millions of children could suffer.
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It has been two months since the Republican-led Congress allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to expire. Soon, millions of children will begin losing health care coverage, schools will be forced to curtail health-related services, and states will struggle with impossible choices, such as slashing funding for education in order to extend health coverage for lower-income kids-all because of federal lawmakers’ inaction.