Senate Strongly Encouraged to Take Action Now to Extend Program (Columbus, Ohio—March 26, 2015) Children’s issues advocate Voices for Ohio’s Children praised the U.S. House of Representatives today for taking action to ensure children in Ohio and across the nation continue to get the quality health care coverage they need to succeed. Today’s bipartisan House vote to renew funding for the highly successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will help ensure that kids from low- and moderate-income working families continue to receive the care they need to reach their full potential.
CHIP has a long history of bipartisan support, proving coverage for children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but don't have access to affordable health care. As a result of CHIP’s implementation, coverage rates for kids across the country are at a historic high of close to 93 percent.
In a joint statement, the Ohio Children’s Campaign, the Ohio Coalition for the Medically Underserved, and Ohio Covering Kids and Families said, “We thank the members of the Ohio delegation that voted to stand up for our kids and support this vital program. Their actions will help make sure more than 150,000 Ohio kids keep the coverage and quality care families depend on.
As the Senate takes up legislation to renew CHIP, we strongly urge them to build on the House bill by quickly passing a four-year extension of this critical program. By ensuring funding stays intact, Congress can provide the stability families and state officials need to plan without worrying that the promises Congress made for the future of CHIP won’t be kept.”
Forty-two governors of both parties called on Congress to move quickly to fully fund CHIP. Most states are planning on finalizing their budgets now, and many have already factored the amount of promised federal CHIP funding into their plans. In Ohio, this means Congress must take action to pass this legislation or the state will have to cut at least $47 million from its 2016 budget.
The statement continued, “The message is loud and clear – CHIP is an important lifeline for Ohio children. Congress has taken an important step today and we urge members to finalize legislation quickly to provide families and states the stability they need to plan for the next four years.”