A new letter, which CWLA has signed onto, is urging Congress to act on a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization soon.  The letter, circulated by First Focus and the Children’s Defense Fund, is open to national, state and local groups can be read here and signed onto here.

Funding for CHIP is set to expire at the end of this fiscal year on September 30, 2017. CHIP was a bipartisan program created under the Clinton Administration and it has helped to extend funding to millions of children by provide states with grants to provide insurance coverage for children.  Combined with Medicaid, 45 million children receive health care coverage with CHIP covering nearly nine million of that total. In total, approximately 95 percent of children have health insurance coverage and CHIP has been a big part of that success. CHIP reauthorization is part of the CWLA legislative agenda for this year.

The legislation was last extended in 2015 and as was a concern back then, states are budgeting now for next year and it is important that they have the certainty of a CHIP reauthorization in planning those budgets.  If Congress fails to extend funding for CHIP, millions of children who rely on the program will face coverage disruptions or lose coverage altogether.