CHIP program is vital for vulnerable children

Congress let the Children's Health Insurance Program lapse in September

Funding for CHIP, which covers over 8 million children, expires on September 30, 2017. Without CHIP funding, millions of children across the country and thousands in this state would be at risk of losing their health care coverage with no other affordable alternative or safety net available. With a lot of bipartisan support for this widely popular program, Congress needs to act.

CHIP is crucial, as it helps to cover children who fall into a gap - their families make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but they also can not afford private health insurance. If Republicans in Congress don't act to renew funding, these patients-many of them children-will likely be without care in the future. The administrative burden and the incredible anxiety for families (especially those with children who have chronic conditions needing frequent care) created by congressional feet-dragging should not be discounted and requires urgent action.

"No family in NY or elsewhere should ever have to make the agonizing decision between taking their child to the doctor and footing the cost of exorbitant medical bills they can not afford", Schumer said. The timeline for this varies by state, but the only way to avoid confusing messages to families is for Congress to cleanly extend CHIP for five years.

It that were to occur the state would have to notify of 65,000 Virginia children and 1,100 pregnant women in November that their coverage will be terminated.

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