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Congress "CHIP"s Away at Kids' Health Care

Program That Covers One out of 10 Kids Expires

Last week, millions of Americans breathed a sigh of relief when the harmful Graham-Cassidy health care bill that would have caused massive coverage losses collapsed in the Senate. However, in their frenzy to pass that "Against Kids" bill, Congress let another major program for kids' health care expire on Sunday.

The Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, provides high-quality health care coverage to low-income kids whose parents do not qualify for Medicaid. This vital federal-state program currently covers 9 million kids, or one out of 10 children in America. And because Congress let the Sept. 30 deadline pass without reauthorizing the program, 9 million kids risk losing access to coverage.

Letting CHIP continue to go unfunded would be nothing short of a disaster for millions of kids and families across the country. Five states, including California, plus the District of Columbia, will run out of money to cover kids by the end of this month, and every state will see their funds depleted by the end of 2018. Even more urgent, multiple states are preparing to freeze enrollment now and will soon have to make difficult decisions about which kids get health care.

Take action

We really need your help right now. CHIP has enjoyed great success and has support from both major parties. Restoring its funds to cover kids should not be controversial. Please contact your member of Congress and senators to tell them to support the bipartisan plan from the Senate Finance Committee to reauthorize CHIP.

Kelsey Kober
Policy Associate