CHIP Expired Two Months Ago: When Will Congress Act?

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1 in 8 children is at risk of losing access to health care since Congress let funds for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expire two months ago. It’s time for Congress to prioritize our kids and #ActOnCHIP. 

  • Thousands of kids could lose health insurance next month if Congress doesn't act fast (ABC News, 11/29) : "Eleven states are anticipating running out of funding by the end of the year, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation -- California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Ohio, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Hawaii. Another 21 states anticipate their funding to run out soon after the new year."
  • The damage to children's health insurance is already being done (The Atlantic, 11/22) : "Hill staffers insist and the states anticipate that Congress will pass new funding for CHIP in the coming weeks. But the situation has left doctors fuming, administrators bewildered, parents frightened, and politicians shocked. Even if no states end up running out of money and no kids end up losing coverage, the dithering has already diverted state resources, degraded state programs, and sapped state coffers, and Congress’s dysfunction has pushed the stability of an effective, respected program with bipartisan support into doubt."

Please join us in urging lawmakers to #extendCHIP. Here are a few ways you can help right now:

  1. Send your Congressional representatives a letter using our action alert. (Tip: Click the Take Action button for the form letter tool.)
  2. Tweet your Congressional representatives. Use the hashtags #ActOnCHIP, #CHIPworks or #ExtendCHIP to be seen and shared by other advocates in the public health community! For an easy, pre-written tweet that will go right to your representatives' Twitter accounts, just fill out your info here.
  3. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper to make sure your community is informed. Lawmakers pay a lot of attention to letters in their hometown papers! Below is sample language for you to use in a letter.  If this is your first time writing a letter-to-the-editor, our Advocacy Toolkit ncludes a section to guide you through the process in more detail.

Thank you for speaking up to protect healthcare for children who rely on CHIP!


Sample Letter-to-the-Editor:

Dear Editor:

While Congress is focused on taxes, there is a critical program for children that is desperately hanging on.  And its fate will determine whether millions of children will have access to health care. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on September 30 but is still waiting to be acted on in the Senate. For every day Congress fails to act, more children are put at risk.  At least five states are set to run out of CHIP funding by the end of December.  CHIP provides affordable, comprehensive health insurance for children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance.  It’s an important program for all children who qualify – but it’s especially important for those who face serious and life-threatening illnesses like cancer.  

Families who are facing childhood cancer or other devastating diseases should not have to face financial ruin as a part of treatment.   Congress – and the Senate, in particular – should make the CHIP program a priority before year end and the parents of children with health care needs urge Senators _______ and _______ to be their voice and make sure the program is extended.

Sincerely,

[your name & city]