Senator Sherrod Brown set to Introduce Legislation to Provide Health Insurance to Children Most in Need
Bill would extend funding of the CHIP program funding, which is set to expire in September 2015
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee – visited Dayton Children’s Hospital earlier this week to announce a plan that would extend funding to provide health coverage to more than 130,000 children in his home state of Ohio, and millions nationwide. Senator Brown announced that he will become the lead sponsor of legislation to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is currently set to expire in September.
“Providing health insurance to low-income children isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” said Senator Brown during his hospital visit. “CHIP provides more than 130,000 Ohio children the ability to grow into healthy adults through affordable health insurance. As states begin the process of budgeting for the next fiscal year, they need the financial certainty that federal funds will be there to help fund this crucial program. If Congress doesn’t act, Ohio stands to lose up to $146 million in federal funds in 2016 alone. That’s why I am calling on Congress to pass a funding extension for this program immediately.”
CHIP was created in 1997 as a joint state-federal health insurance program for low- to moderate-income children and pregnant women who are not Medicaid eligible. Within three years of its initial passage, all 50 states opted into the program, providing millions with access to health insurance. Nationwide, CHIP provides access to comprehensive, affordable coverage to more than eight million children. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which were set up as entitlement programs that weren’t subjected to periodic reauthorization by Congress or Congress’ discretionary spending appropriations process, CHIP does need to be reauthorized and funded through Congress. While the program is currently authorized through 2019, its funding is set to expire at the end of 2015.
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