WASHINGTON—In a statement issued today, the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) gave strong support to efforts by Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia to reauthorize and strengthen the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
“As long-time supporters of CHIP, we are energized and excited by Senator Rockefeller’s work to reauthorize this important program,” said Elizabeth Taylor, executive director of NHeLP. “CHIP is a lifeline for millions of children and, along with Medicaid, remains a vital part of our health care delivery system.”
Since 1987, CHIP has provided affordable health coverage for low-income children and pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid, offering them the chance at better, healthier futures. Along with Medicaid, CHIP has successfully reduced uninsurance among children by half.
NHeLP supports Sen. Rockefeller’s efforts to reauthorize CHIP through 2019. Current funding for the program, set through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will expire September 30, 2015. Without reauthorization, millions of children and pregnant women would lose coverage and be unable to afford private coverage in the Marketplace.
This loss of coverage poses a direct threat to the American health care system because the ACA built on the success of Medicaid and CHIP, preserving them as the foundation of children’s coverage in the new health system. States have designed their CHIPs within broad federal parameters specifically to serve the unique needs of children and pregnant women with age-appropriate benefits and provider networks and facilities. States also have ensured CHIP’s affordability for families by limiting out-of-pocket costs and similar barriers to care.