HARRISBURG — Today, the House of Representatives voted to approve a substitute funding bill for the Children’s Health Insurance Program that would combine CHIP reauthorization with funding for Community Health Centers and other provisions, including funding for abstinence-only education as well as changes to Medicaid eligibility, and more. Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network released the following statement:
“For decades, the CHIP program – which provides health coverage to 176,000 children in Pennsylvania and millions nationwide- has enjoyed bipartisan support. Today’s vote – which seeks to undermine the bipartisan support for CHIP reauthorization by introducing controversial provisions into the funding bill – makes CHIP’s future uncertain.
Pennsylvania’s children can’t wait while Congress stalls and attaches unecessary and divisive provisions into the CHIP reauthorization bill; they need and deserve access to this essential program. We call on our Representatives in Congress to return to bipartisan negotiations on CHIP and take immediate action to reauthorize the program.”
- On Monday, House Republican leadership released legislative text combining funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other important programs such as Community Health Centers (CHCs). Funding for these programs expired on September 30 of this year.
- The legislation includes other worrisome provisions such as funding for abstinence-only sex education.
- The bill also contains problematic offsets like changes to Medicaid income eligibility requirements and raiding the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund.
- If Congress does not reauthorize the program, Pennsylvania has announced its intention to take action before the end of the year to notify CHIP families that the program will be cut even though funds will not run out until early next year.