Call on your member of Congress to protect children's health this holiday season!
The clock has long run out on the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Since funding expired on September 30th,Congress has yet to move forward on extending the funding for this critical program that supports the health care and coverage for 9 million children, with over a quarter of a million CHIP recipients residing in Illinois.
As we head into the holidays, Congress (including all seven Illinois House Republicans) has found time to slash taxes for the ultra wealthy and corporations and cut health insurance for 13 million Americans, but continues to stall funding CHIP as well as other crucial health programs like Community Health Centers (CHCs), and the home visiting program, MICHEV, which keeps newborns and new families healthy.
As if this was not bad enough, the funding proposals that are on the table for these essential programs come with dangerous cuts to other programs that promote health and well-being, such as the Prevention and Public Health Fund. By pinning the passage of CHIP extension to these offsets, Congress is playing sleight of hand with children's health. These indispensable programs allow children and their families to access the services they need. Yet, nothing has been done in Congress, making it clearer than ever that many of our elected officials have not prioritized the health and wellbeing of Illinois children.
Today, the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families released new analysis which found that if Congress does not act soon to fund CHIP almost 2 million children could lose coverage in January. An additional 1 million children would also be at risk of losing coverage by the end of February. Several states have already sent letters to families and announced plans for ending kids’ coverage if funding is not renewed this month. Illinois will be close behind in 2018.
It is unconscionable for Congress to break for the holidays without funding the essential health programs CHIP, Community Health Centers, and home visiting through MICHEV.