Critical child health programs have been teetering on the brink of financial collapse since October. Now, in the aftermath of moving a massive piece of tax legislation, it’s time for Congress to resolve the roadblocks and come to an agreement that immediately restores funding of the Child Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), Community Health Centers and the National Health Service Corps.
Three decades of providing health care to our nation’s most medically underserved children informs Children’s Health Fund’s understanding of the critical importance of comprehensive, continuous health coverage and access. CHIP provides nearly nine million kids with quality coverage; Community Health Centers are the backbone of health system infrastructure for poor children and families; and the National Health Service Corps enables deployment of health care providers to health professional shortage areas. Each of these essential programs works best when they work together, giving children a doctor, an exam room, and insurance to pay for the visit.
At this moment, all three of these vital components of the child health safety net are being threatened with insolvency.
The potential consequences of continued congressional inaction—interruption and possible shutdown of state CHIP programs, reductions in CHIP enrollment and diminished services at Community Health Centers—would profoundly undermine the health and well-being of millions of children.
This is unacceptable.
Having demonstrated the ability to bring energy and focus to the legislative process, Children’s Health Fund strongly urges Congress to commit an equal effort right now to reinforcing CHIP and other indispensable child health programs. They are every bit as important to the future of our country as tax policy.