"CHIP" in to Save Kids' Health Care

Update: A Continuing Resolution (CR) signed into law on January 22, 2018, fully funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program for the next six years. We’re grateful for the advocates who stood up for kids and demanded that legislators address this issue.

CHIP is not exactly a household name. It does not refer to the new security feature on your credit card, and it doesn't go in a cookie. But it is a big deal for low-income kids. The Children's Health Insurance Program provides health care coverage to kids in low-income families who don't qualify for Medicaid. But this critical program for millions of kids is now in jeopardy.

Congress had until Sept. 30 to reauthorize this vital federal-state program, and they let that deadline pass. While the Senate is currently considering a bipartisan bill, S. 1827, that would extend the program for five years, we’re running out of time -- states are already preparing to freeze enrollment and will have to make difficult decisions about which kids get health care.

The House recently passed HR 3922, the Championing Healthy Kids Act. Though this partisan bill reauthorizes CHIP, it also deeply cuts Medicare and public health programs that serve kids and families. Please contact your senators to urge them to support the clean reauthorization bill, S.1827, the Keeping Kids Insurance Dependable and Secure Act.

What You Need to Know:

  • Almost 9 million kids in the United States depend on CHIP for health care coverage.
  • If Congress fails to reauthorize CHIP, five states (including California and the District of Columbia) will begin to run out of money to cover kids as early as October.
  • Almost every state will run out of money by the end of 2018 if CHIP is not reauthorized.