Statement of the National Children’s Health Community Urging Quick Bipartisan Action on a Strong, Five-Year Extension of Funding for the
Children’s Health Insurance Program
As advocates for children and pregnant women, we call on Congress to take immediate action
to enact a five-year extension of CHIP funding. Since its inception in 1997, CHIP, together with
Medicaid, has helped to reduce the numbers of uninsured children by a remarkable 68 percent.
With CHIP funding set to expire on September 30, 2017, now is the time for Congress to
stabilize the CHIP funding stream and protect the gains in children’s health coverage that have
resulted in more than 95 percent of all children in America being enrolled in some form of
CHIP has a proven track record of providing high-quality, cost-effective coverage for low income
children and pregnant women in working families. CHIP was a smart, bipartisan solution
to a real problem facing American children and families when it was adopted in 1997 and its
importance and impact in securing a healthy future for children in low-income families has only
increased. Senators, representatives, and governors all recognize the importance of CHIP in
providing affordable, pediatric-specific coverage to almost 9 million children who cannot afford
private coverage or lack access to employer-based coverage. CHIP also delivers quality,
affordable care to pregnant women in 19 states, allowing them to obtain the care they need to
have healthy pregnancies and give birth to healthy infants.
With federal CHIP funding set to end on September 30, 2017, states are facing critical decisions
about the future of their CHIP programs. Many states are just weeks away from setting in
motion processes to establish waiting lists and send out disenrollment notices to families. Once
undertaken, these actions will have an immediate effect, creating chaos in program
administration and confusion for families.