Senators to Introduce Amendment to Extend Children’s Access to Health Care

Amendment would Extend CHIP for Full 4 Years

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Harry Reid (D-NV) will introduce an amendment to the SGR fix to extend the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for a full four years. With CHIP's current funding set to expire in September, the amendment would extend funding through 2019. CHIP serves more than eight million children in working families nationwide.

"Ensuring Colorado kids have access to affordable health care should be a common sense idea we can all support," Bennet said. "This amendment would invest in the health and future of millions of children across the country. We should work to give parents more certainty about their kids' health."

"We can't turn our backs on health coverage that allows children to grow into healthy, active adults," Brown said. "Since its creation in 1997, the Children's Health Insurance Program has provided affordable, comprehensive health care for children who might not otherwise have access to coverage. This lifeline program has cut the number of uninsured children in half and has garnered broad bipartisan support. We owe it to American children to pass a long-term extension of CHIP."

"CHIP is a successful program with Pennsylvania roots. For years, the program has worked as a remarkable public-private partnership to deliver critical health care to children. CHIP has played an important role in increasing access to health insurance for countless children," Senator Casey said. "Extending CHIP for four years will gives families and states more certainty. We must ensure that CHIP continues to be there for these children."

CHIP, which was created in 1997, is a joint state-federal health insurance program for low- to moderate-income children and pregnant women who are not Medicaid eligible. Within three years of its initial passage, all 50 states opted into the program, providing millions with access to health insurance. Nationwide, CHIP provides access to comprehensive, affordable coverage to more than eight million children, including the Colorado CHIP program, which serves more than 115,000 kids.

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