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Lapse in CHIP Funding Threatens Young Families’ Financial Security

October 2, 2017
Contacts: Sarah Schultz,, 202.734.6510

[Washington DC] – Over the weekend, Congress allowed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to expire. Despite providing access to health care for nine million children and decades of bipartisan support, the program’s $15 billion budget was allowed to run out. CHIP has helped lower the children’s uninsurance rate from 14 percent to 5 percent during its existence, and YI calls for an immediate five-year reauthorization of the program.

“Congress’ inaction is inexcusable,” said Government Affairs Director Reid Setzer. “Letting CHIP lapse pulls the rug out from underneath millions of young parents working to provide for their families and solidify their financial footing. Already more than one out of every five Millennial parents lives in poverty. Now many of those parents will receive notices over the next six months that their children’s health insurance has expired. By the end of March, 32 states and Washington D.C. are projected to run out of money for CHIP. Governors across the country have been pleading for Congress to reauthorize CHIP, because states need months of lead time to adequately administer this program and budget correctly for future fiscal years. Instead of taking yet another run at a partisan attempt to repeal the ACA and gut Medicaid, Congress needs to fix this problem for the millions of young families who are more financially secure because their children have coverage.”

“As a single mother of two children with a rare genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which causes extreme hypermobility, chronic joint dislocations, and torn ligaments, I am deeply worried that Congress’s failure to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may cause my kids to lose their health care coverage,” said Nicole Valenzuela of Phoenix, Arizona. “Arizona’s CHIP program, KidsCare, has helped our family afford multiple surgeries to manage the symptoms of EDS. CHIP is not a handout; it’s a lifeline that makes coverage affordable and desperately-needed treatments accessible. If my son and daughter lose their health insurance, it would cost me over $500 a month plus $1,000 deductibles for each to add them to my insurance through work. That’s not something my family can afford. Congress, it’s time to put aside your differences and do what is right for Arizona families by reauthorizing CHIP.”

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