Nine million kids across America get low-cost healthcare through the Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) program. Now, our heartless Republicans in Congress have let it expire.
The Washington Post reports the 1997 law creating CHIP was passed during President Bill Clinton’s administration with strong support from both sides of the aisle. Since it began, the number of children without access to healthcare dropped from nearly 14 percent to 4.5 percent in 2015. The funding was reauthorized that year and was up for renewal on Sept. 30.
Since Donald Trump and Republicans in the House and Senate were unable to strip millions of Americans of their healthcare with their failed Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal, they couldn’t resist this chance to punish children whose parents’ employers refuse to pay a living wage.
Most CHIP money comes from the federal government, and only a handful of states still have enough funds to keep providing healthcare to these kids. If Congress doesn’t do something ASAP, states will run out of money by March 2018 — some sooner, according to a U.S. government report.
The CHIP program costs just $13.6 billion, a drop in the bucket compared to how much we spend on our bloated military. And Donald Trump’s proposed budget wants to spend even more (aside from the increase for veterans’ benefits, which most Americans from all points on the political spectrum support).
Sorry Bill, Trump’s budget eliminates all Federal spending on healthcare in the near future to pay for re re rebuilding the US military. pic.twitter.com/eH5gXgD255
— McMick (@inanefoibles) September 20, 2017
While it’s good to keep an eye on public spending, some argue the GOP’s obsession with balanced budgets is strangling the economy: Especially when we invest more on war and tax cuts for the rich, instead of on infrastructure and the good of the American people.
— Rob Price (@RobPrice58) September 20, 2017
As the Healthcare.Gov website explains, this program helps working families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but who can’t afford health insurance and don’t get it through their employers. All 50 states have a version of the CHIP program, which is part of state Medicaid programs. Some states also cover pregnant women to keep them and their children healthy.
CHIP covers routine checkups, immunizations (without which, children often can’t go to school), doctor visits, prescriptions, dental and vision care, hospital visits, lab tests and x-rays, and trips to the emergency room.
CHIP health coverage is officially over due to GOP's malicious neglect. No one knows when it'll be reauthorized.
That's 9 MILLION children.
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) October 1, 2017
According to The Washington Post, “If action is not taken soon to restore the funding, the effects will become obvious in schools across the country, with many of the children in the program unable to see a doctor for routine checkups, immunizations, visits when sick and other services.”
The map below shows how long states have before they run out of federal CHIP funds.
— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) October 1, 2017
If the GOP lets CHIP expire would be devastating for our nation’s children: The Young Turks’ Ana Kasparian reports.
As Ana Kasparian from The Young Turks reports, CHIP’s a block grant program. Some states, like Minnesota, will run out of money immediately, with devastating effects on children living in these states. In the panel discussion, Kasparian explains how her family wouldn’t have been able to afford healthcare for her and her siblings without the CHIP program.
Featured image: Public Domain, U.S. Military via Wikimedia Commons.