CHIP Child Enrollment Contingency Fund: Neither Expired nor Unnecessary
Washington, D.C. — Today, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 3, the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, which basically forces low-income and vulnerable children to foot the cost for last year’s tax law that provided billions in tax cuts to corporations and wealthy people. In the last 6 months, the administration and Republican leadership have enacted legislation that increased annual budget deficits by more than $1 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Following is the statement of Lisa Shapiro, chief of staff and director of children's policy for Families USA:
“We strongly oppose this legislation, which represents the largest cut to previously approved funding in history. In particular, we disapprove of the $1.9 billion proposed rescission to the CHIP Child Enrollment Contingency Fund, which was designed by lawmakers on a bipartisan basis as a critical protection to ensure that states are able to manage any unexpected demand for CHIP and to continue to offer it to eligible children when unanticipated circumstances occur like economic recession, natural disasters, epidemics, or other health emergencies.
“Without adequate funding for the CHIP Contingency Fund, parents will find it difficult for their children to see doctors when they need one, as was the case in 2009. In that year, there was no contingency fund and children who were eligible for CHIP were unable to sign up because of enrollment freezes, children ended up on waiting lists, and many experienced delays in getting needed care. Contrary to the title of the bill and statements from the Trump administration and Republican leadership, the CHIP Contingency Fund is neither expired nor unnecessary. It is exactly what the name says it is: a contingency fund that was created to ensure stability in CHIP and to provide flexibility for states to protect their children.
“We urge each House member to vote against this nonsensical bill which achieves nothing while potentially hurting millions of our nation’s children and their families.”