The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a critical tool for many New York families. This federal program provides health insurance funding for 350,000 children in our state through New York’s Child Health Plus Program. Over the past twenty years, the program has provided check-ups, prescriptions and hospital care to low- to moderate-income children. However, without Congressional action the program is projected to run out of funding in March, and this is unacceptable.
This past November, I supported a bill that passed the House of Representatives to re-authorize the program for five years. The legislation provided the necessary funding and long-term certainty for families which utilize the CHIP program. The re-authorization also included funding for community health centers which are vital for providing primary care in rural and urban parts of our state.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, passing a re-authorization will save taxpayers’ money. Without CHIP, the alternatives for those currently utilizing the program to find healthcare services for their children would cost more than the coverage of CHIP. So, in addition to CHIP being an effective and necessary program for children and their families, it also makes long-term budgetary sense.
This week, I expect a long-term re-authorization of the CHIP program to be added to the continuing resolution funding agreement. Please contact my office or check our website for further updates on this important issue.