Thirty-one days have passed since the September 30th deadline for Congress to extend funding for the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Child advocates across Kentucky and the nation are deeply concerned by Congress’ inaction on ensuring millions of children do not lose their health coverage. Kentucky’s version of the program, KCHIP, has been instrumental in lowering the number of uninsured children by providing affordable health insurance for children with working parents who are struggling to make ends meet.
Nearly 93,000 Kentucky kids are counting on Congress to act swiftly and extend CHIP funding to protect children’s access to health care. Let’s not put children’s health in jeopardy.
CHIP is a strong example of a bipartisan policy that has been effective at delivering quality health insurance to children in the way states see fit. It receives support across the aisle because it works. CHIP gives children the opportunity to stay up-to-date on their immunizations and wellness visits, and helps them access much needed dental care and mental health services. Healthier kids can go to school healthy and ready to learn.
Critical health policy decisions for children are imminent at the federal level, and the good news is that CHIP continues to have bipartisan support. Yet so far, CHIP has been caught up in broader debates on healthcare reform. That is why we need Majority Leader McConnell, and every member of Kentucky’s congressional delegation, to ensure that the current CHIP policy is extended for five years. The U.S. House is expected to vote this week on the House version of the CHIP funding extension bill, and we ask both chambers to move quickly.
Kentucky families are counting on our elected leaders in Washington to make sure Kentucky kids can still receive the care they need to stay healthy or make them feel better when they are sick.