House Passes CHIP and Community Health Center Funding With Harmful, Partisan Offsets
Despite Sound Policy, Bill Includes Harmful Pay-fors that Threaten Children, Pregnant Women and their Families, Causing Millions to Lose Essential and Timely Health Care
All eyes now turn to the more moderate Senate
Washington, D.C. – The Republican-led House of Representatives passed a bill that would extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Centers. Despite the bipartisan nature of these critical programs, the legislation relies on a partisan list of pay-fors that would interrupt coverage and harm beneficiaries, including:
- Shortening grace periods for premium payment, terminating health insurance when someone in the marketplace is a month late paying their premiums.
- Denying health care to pregnant women and children while back-office billing issues are being resolved.
- Slashing funding for vital public health services, taking significant funding away from state public health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Increasing Medicare premiums for higher-income enrollees.
Following is the statement of Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA, on the Republican House vote:
“Congress is now more than a month overdue in protecting coverage for the 9 million children who get their health insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Despite months of bipartisan negotiation to ensure that families can continue to rely on CHIP, the House today passed a partisan bill that would fund CHIP by reducing benefits and coverage for children and other beneficiaries.
Unlike many other health issues, CHIP has always enjoyed bipartisan support. The Senate must return to this bipartisan tradition and reach agreement on a 5-year CHIP extension. In order for CHIP to get across the finish line quickly, Congress must agree on funding sources that pay for children's coverage without harming other hard-working Americans.”