Lawmakers Call on Congressional Leadership to Extend CHIP Funding
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawai‘i-02) and a coalition of 99 members of Congress called on the House and Senate leadership yesterday, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, to urgently extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) without the inclusion of harmful provisions that would reduce healthcare coverage among those who receive insurance under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid.
In a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the lawmakers called for bipartisan legislation to extend funding for CHIP, which provides insurance coverage to nearly nine million uninsured, low-income children across the country, including over 25,000 children in Hawai‘i.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, Hawai‘i is one of 10 states that will exhaust its CHIP funding by the end of this year if Congress does not act immediately.
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“Congressional leadership has failed to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—putting at risk the health and care of nearly nine million low-income keiki across the country, including over 25,000 in Hawai‘i. Coupled with Medicaid, these programs have played a fundamental role in lowering the uninsured rate among children down to a record low of 4.5%.
“If Congress fails to act, Hawai‘i will exhaust its CHIP funding by the end of this month, leaving thousands of children unable to visit a doctor for routine checkups, receive immunizations, prescriptions, emergency services and more. We cannot continue to stand idly by as parents and families stay up at night worrying how to pay for the healthcare of our country’s children. Congress must ensure the health and well-being of our future leaders—our children—and extend CHIP funding immediately.”
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard previously called on Congress to reauthorize funding for CHIP after federal funding expired on Sept. 30, 2017.