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Urge your Members of Congress to Extend Funding for CHIP

The Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides critical health coverage to almost nine million children across the United States. CHIP helps ensure that kids receive the medical treatment they need, and offers piece of mind to their parents and families. Thanks to CHIP, as well as the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of children in the U.S. with health insurance is at all-time high of 95%.

Federal funding for CHIP expired at the end of September, meaning Congress must act quickly to ensure that all eligible children keep their coverage. Urge Congress to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and protect the millions of families relying on the program.

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  • Background

    Established in 1997, the Children’s Health Insurance Program offers health insurance to children in low-income families who are not eligible for Medicaid. In the 20 years since the program was enacted, the rate of uninsured children fell from 14% to just 5%. While any child without health insurance demands action, this progress is remarkable.

    CHIP, like Medicaid, operates as a partnership between the federal government and states. With federal funding having expired on September 30, some states will run out of funding for CHIP as early as November, leaving children without insurance. Some state laws require state to notify families if there is potential for the program to be unfunded. These notices—unsurprisingly—scare families and can leave sick children in precarious circumstances.

    CHIP has enjoyed bipartisan support since its creation. As Congress begins talks to extend funding for the program, this should continue to be case. States need clarity about the funding they will receive. Children’s health care should not subject to political gamesmanship.

    Jewish Values

    For centuries, Jewish law has commanded communities to provide healthcare to their inhabitants (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De'ot IV: 23). We learn that healthcare is a core element of creating a society of equality and justice. Continuing to provide healthcare for children  lifts up the most vulnerable among us, advancing equality for all.

    More Information

    For more on this issue, visit the RAC’s healthcare page, or check out the RACBlog. You can also contact Senior Legislative Assistant Nathan Bennett at (202) 387-2800.