House Passage of Chip Bill with Harmful Pay-Fors Creates Bipartisan Impasse and Puts Children’s Health at Risk

(BOSTON) -- Statement of Eva Stahl, director of the Children’s Health Initiative at Community Catalyst, regarding the passage of legislation today in the House of Representatives to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Centers. The bill passed without support from most House Democrats—upending the longstanding bipartisan tradition for CHIP.

“Millions of children and families across the country stand to lose vital health care coverage if Congress does not act soon to refund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). While the House today voted to approve CHIP refunding, the House Republican leadership moved ahead without bipartisan support. This is deeply concerning as it sets the stage for an impasse in the Senate, further delaying funding for these important programs and detracting from the overall goal of ensuring all children in the U.S. continue to access the health services they need. We are also troubled by the legislation’s offsets, which undermine public health by raiding the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund and makes other cuts to the ACA in order to pay for critical community health center funding.”

“Alongside Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, CHIP plays a crucial role in providing approximately 9 million children and pregnant women with affordable, high-quality health coverage. The House bill robs Peter to pay Paul, undermining CHIP by shifting costs onto other essential health programs.

“We hope the Senate will reject this bill, and we encourage both chambers of Congress to work together to forge a bipartisan agreement on both policy and funding for CHIP so children can continue to have access to affordable, age-appropriate benefits and a robust network of health providers.”

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About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable, quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.

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