Congress has failed to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as of September 30th when the current funding expired. CHIP serves close to nine million children for families that do not qualify for straight Medicaid but cannot afford commercial health insurance. CHIP (initially called S-CHIP) was initially passed through the bipartisan action of congress in 1997. The program operates as a partnership between the state and federal government where federal funding offers the majority of the cost. Families that qualify pay premiums on a sliding scale determined by their income level.
Without the continued funding for the CHIP program, our most vulnerable children will no longer have access to health insurance, and many of these families will need to resort to emergency rooms for the care of their children. It is predicted by the Kaiser Family Foundation that10 states will run out of CHIP funding by the end of this year, and 32 states project that they will exhaust federal funds by April 1, 2018. Several states have already announced that they will not accept new enrollees into their current CHIP program.
It is the position of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians (ACOP) that congress must reauthorize the continued funding of the CHIP program to safeguard the health and well being of the children in this country. We do ask that our members and families contact their congressional representative to implore them to pass this critical bill.