Make Sure Congress Funds CHIP in 2018

  • Week of December 10, 2017

With all their focus on creating new tax breaks for the rich, Republicans seem to have forgotten to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), putting the healthcare of millions of children at stake.

As we explained in November, nearly 9 million children (and pregnant women) are covered by CHIP in their states. CHIP coverage is for children and pregnant women who are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.  This threshold is generally 200% - 250% above FPL (federal poverty level), depending on state.  Because of the non-renewal of the funding, state CHIP trust funding will begin running out in November to January, depending on the level of funding in each state program. States are paying down their program reserves, but as funding is whittled down and the possibility of losing coverage looms, states are required to inform their members (those with CHIP coverage) of the fact that they will be losing coverage.

CHIP has been authorized on a bipartisan basis every year for the last 19 years. While the Republican-controlled Congress passed a tax bill to benefit the wealthy, so far they have let CHIP expire. We can’t let the chips fall where they may on the health of millions of children. All-of-us must make sure Congress funds CHIP for 2018.

Here’s how:

1 If your representative and/or senators are Republicans, call them and ask them to reauthorize CHIP funding.

2 Review this helpful resource from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which describes how ending CHIP would affect individual states.

3 Many governors are advocating for Congress to authorize CHIP funding. Call your Governor and ask what he/she is doing to prevent the loss of funding for children in your state. Use this script:

Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I am calling about funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program. It appears that Congress is putting the health of 9 million kids at risk. Can you tell me what Governor [___________] is doing to ensure that children in our state remain protected.

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