Last night, the Senate passed legislation – known as the SGR-CHIP compromise – that will extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for two more years. Not only did Congress extend funding; they did so while protecting the successful structure of the program that is tailored to children’s needs. This is good news for the approximately 66,000 Kentucky children each month who receive quality health care coverage through Kentucky’s version – KCHIP.
KCHIP offers affordable health insurance for children with working parents who earn incomes too low to fully cover needs. With KCHIP, parents do pay reasonable co-pays for things like prescription medication, but with health insurance for their children, parents do not have to worry that a sick child might mean bankruptcy.
KCHIP, along with Medicaid, has meant many Kentucky children have health care coverage, making Kentucky one of the best states for having children covered. Without the CHIP extension, tens of thousands of Kentucky children stood to lose coverage. And, rural children were more at risk of losing coverage, as a higher percentage of rural children have health insurance from a public source like CHIP or Medicaid.
The passage of this legislation represents bipartisan support for a policy solution that has been effective at delivering quality health insurance to children in the way states see fit. Bipartisan support made this funding extension possible, and we appreciate Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul for their yes votes last night. We also thank Kentucky’s members of the House of Representatives who voted yes on this bill last month, including Congressman Andy Barr, Congressman Brett Guthrie, Congressman Hal Rogers, Congressman Ed Whitfield, and Congressman John Yarmuth. Kentucky kids win with these important votes!