The League joined other groups calling on Congress to extend and fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Current funding for this program expires on September 30, 2017. Congress must act to provide high-quality, cost-effective coverage for low-income children and pregnant women in working families. 
 

Statement of the National Children’s Health Community Urging Quick Bipartisan Action on a Strong, Five-Year Extension of Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program

September 6, 2017
 
As advocates for children and pregnant women, we call on Congress to take immediate action to enact a five-year extension of CHIP funding. Since its inception in 1997, CHIP, together with Medicaid, has helped to reduce the numbers of uninsured children by a remarkable 68 percent. With CHIP funding set to expire on September 30, 2017, now is the time for Congress to stabilize the CHIP funding stream and protect the gains in children’s health coverage that have resulted in more than 95 percent of all children in America being enrolled in some form of insurance coverage.
 
CHIP has a proven track record of providing high-quality, cost-effective coverage for low-income children and pregnant women in working families. CHIP was a smart, bipartisan solution to a real problem facing American children and families when it was adopted in 1997 and its importance and impact in securing a healthy future for children in low-income families has only increased. Senators, representatives, and governors all recognize the importance of CHIP in providing affordable, pediatric-specific coverage to almost 9 million children who cannot afford private coverage or lack access to employer-based coverage. CHIP also delivers quality, affordable care to pregnant women in 19 states, allowing them to obtain the care they need to have healthy pregnancies and give birth to healthy infants.
 
With federal CHIP funding set to end on September 30, 2017, states are facing critical decisions about the future of their CHIP programs. Many states are just weeks away from setting in motion processes to establish waiting lists and send out disenrollment notices to families. Once undertaken, these actions will have an immediate effect, creating chaos in program administration and confusion for families.
 
Extending CHIP is particularly important in light of the ongoing debate on and uncertainty regarding the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, and the stability of the individual insurance markets. With state budgets already set for the coming year, states are counting on CHIP to continue in its current form. Changes to CHIP’s structure – including changes to the Maintenance of Effort or the enhanced CHIP matching rate – would cause significant disruption in children’s coverage and leave states with critical shortfalls in their budgets. Given CHIP’s track record of success, changes to CHIP that would cause harm to children must not be made.

Today, we stand united in urging Congress to honor CHIP’s 20 years of success by securing this critical source of coverage for children and pregnant women into the future. As Congress continues to work on larger health system reforms, a primary goal should be to improve health coverage for children, but at a minimum, no child should be left worse off. We urge our nation’s leaders to work together to enact a five-year extension of CHIP funding as an important opportunity for meaningful, bipartisan action.

Contact:
Ari Goldberg, VP Communications, First Focus, 240-678-9102; agoldberg@firstfocus.org

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Endorsing Organizations
 
1,000 Days
Academic Pediatric Association
ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+)
AFSCME
AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
America's Essential Hospitals
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Nursing
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Dental Education Association
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
American Muslim Health Professionals
American Network of Oral Health Coalitions
American Pediatric Society
American Public Health Association
American Society for Radiation Oncology
American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association for Community Affiliated Plans
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses
Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO)
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Autism Speaks
Cancer Support Community
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Popular Democracy
Child Care Aware of America
Child Welfare League of America
Children and Family Futures
Children's Brain Tumor Foundation
Children's Cause for Cancer Advocacy
Children's Defense Fund
Children's Dental Health Project
Children's Health Fund
Children's Hospital Association
Children's Leadership Council
Children's Mental Health Network
Clearinghouse on Women's Issues
Coalition on Human Needs
Community Access National Network (CANN)
Community Catalyst
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC)
Doctors for America
Easterseals
Every Child Matters
Families USA
Family Focused Treatment Association
Family Voices
First Focus
First Star Institute
Forum for Youth Investment
Generations United
Health Care for America Now
Healthy Schools Campaign
Healthy Teen Network
Heart Rhythm Society
HIV Medicine Association
IDEA Infant Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA)
Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Justice in Aging
League of Women Voters of the United States
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation, Inc.
March of Dimes
Mental Health America
NAACP
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
NASTAD (National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors)
National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds
National Association for Children's Behavioral Health
National Association of Community Health Centers
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of County Human Services Administrators
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of Perinatal Social Workers
National Association of Social Workers
National Black Women's HIV/AIDS Network
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Consumers League
National Council of Jewish Women
National Crittenton Foundation
National Health Law Program
National Immigration Law Center
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Patient Advocate Foundation
National Respite Coalition
National Women's Health Network
Nemours Children's Health System
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
NMAC (National Minority AIDS Council)
Nurse-Family Partnership
Oral Health America
Out2Enroll
Partnership for America's Children
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Pediatric Policy Council
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need
Religious Institute
RESULTS
School-Based Health Alliance
Society for Pediatric Research
Solving Kids' Cancer
The Children's Partnership
The Jewish Federations of North America
The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society
Trust for America's Health
United Way Worldwide
Universal Health Care Action Network
Voices for Progress
Young Invincibles
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