Earlier this year, in a rare show of bipartisan cooperation, Congress overwhelmingly passed a budget deal that was signed by the President. That budget included a long-term extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This prudent bipartisan agreement ensured that, for the next 10 years, CHIP – a program crucial to the health and wellbeing of some 9 million working class children – would not be deployed as a political bargaining chip.
The Administration now wants to threaten the spirit of that deal and rescind $15 billion in spending – almost half of which would come from CHIP.
Children’s Health Fund’s provider advocates have had a unique vantage point to observe the pivotal impact of CHIP in the health of America’s most medically underserved children. In 2017 – during which Congress allowed for the expiration of funding to CHIP for a prolonged period – our providers were loud and clear: Uncertainty in CHIP funding is irresponsible and potentially disastrous for the health and wellbeing of our nation’s medically underserved children.
“What we choose to invest in shows what our priorities are as a nation.” said Dennis Walto, CHF’s Chief Executive Officer. “Adding 1.3 trillion dollars to the deficit in the form of tax cuts, while at the same time rescinding funds that provide lifesaving health care our nation’s most medically underserved children in the name of austerity is not just shortsighted, it is absurd.”
“To ensure the success of our nation, we must commit to making investments that strengthen the health of future generations. When we rescind monies for children’s health programs, we signal that we prioritize the past over the future.”
Children’s Health Fund is unequivocal in our position: Cuts to children’s health programs are profoundly detrimental to the successes we’ve achieved as a nation for our children and our children’s health – CHIP is an essential thread in the child health safety net and cannot be allowed to fray.