Friday, January 05, 2018
KANSAS CITY CONGRESSMAN CLEAVER STANDS UP FOR CHIP YOUNGSTER CARE!!!
An important note on healthcare for youngsters in the era of TRUMPCARE, upcoming GOP cutbacks and local consequences. Read more:
Provide Long-term Funding for CHIP
As a parent, when one my children was sick or had an emergency, my first thought was getting them to the doctor and making them better. Parents’ primary focus in those moments shouldn’t be whether they can afford the treatment, doctor visit, or the immunization that their child needs.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program, (CHIP) is intended to be a backstop for families, to ensure that children get the medical care they need. With the beginning of a new year, it Is time to push this issue to the forefront. CHIP’s authorization ended on September 30th. Last fall states kept their programs afloat with grants from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services but some states were forced to start sending warning letters to families that they would stop new enrollments or terminate coverage if they did not receive federal funding by the end of January.
In December, Congress provided temporary funding for CHIP that is only expected to last a couple months. It is past time for the majority to stop playing political games and provide long-term funding for CHIP and community health centers right away.
CHIP helps parents who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but they still can’t afford private insurance. CHIP is their safety net to make sure their children get the medical attention they need. That includes routine check-ups, immunizations, inpatient and outpatient care, etc…
CHIP is widely used in Missouri and covers the healthcare of 13,000 children in my district. It covers over 9 million children nationwide. The loss of dedicated funding was not a last-minute surprise; the majority knew that the program’s funding expired September 30th, 2017. Instead of working across the aisle to find a workable long-term solution, they put it off until states were forced to start sending notices to families that the programs would likely be terminated soon. And the temporary funding the majority proposed was paid for by taking funding from the ACA Prevention Fund, which helps pay for immunizations and research into diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
It was terrible to see such a popular and bipartisan program such as CHIP be swept under a rug and ignored these last few months while the majority concentrated on cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations. Instead of spending so much time on tax breaks for the wealthy, we should be fighting for children. I will do everything I can to ensure that Congress finds a long-term solution for CHIP and for the community health centers funding. This is too important of an issue to be swept under the rug for a second year.
Emanuel Cleaver, II
Member of Congress