Congresswoman Lawrence Calls for Extension of Children’s Health Insurance Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Lawrence was joined by Reps. Conyers and Kildee in a letter urging House Republicans to work with Democrats to quickly extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Federal funding for CHIP, which provides essential health coverage for low-income children and pregnant women, expired September 30, 2017. Over 82,000 children in Michigan rely on CHIP for access to basic healthcare.
“As Members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation, we write to express our disapproval with Republicans’ failure to put forward a bipartisan reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and their repeated attempts to sabotage healthcare for women and children,” states the letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan. “Republicans should reauthorize expiring health programs including CHIP and stop their attempts to move partisan legislation that offsets funding for these programs with cuts to Medicare and other essential healthcare programs. Callous attempts to use important public health programs including CHIP, Medicare, and community health centers as political pawns will only hurt American families.”
“Republicans have prioritized repealing the Affordable Care Act and taking away healthcare, rather than extending this crucial program that has historically received bipartisan support,” said Rep. Lawrence. “Republicans need to come to the table and reauthorize this program in a way that truly preserves healthcare for children and families of Michigan and across this nation.”
Over 9 million children nationwide rely on CHIP for access to basic healthcare, including checkups, immunizations, and preventative medicine. In Michigan, CHIP and Medicaid help fill gaps in private coverage and have kept the uninsured rate under 5 percent. In Flint, Michigan, CHIP provides insurance to over 15,000 children, pregnant women, and the children born to them who were exposed to contaminated water. CHIP is also a crucial program in Detroit, where 51 percent of children live below the poverty line.