Governors to Congress: Clock Running Out on CHIP

WASHINGTON—Today the National Governors Association (NGA) Health and Human Services Committee (led by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown) released the following statement on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expires at the end of this month:

“Governors are encouraged that the Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing this week on CHIP and believe it is imperative that Congress act swiftly to fully fund this important program for states and families before funding expires.

For 20 years, CHIP has been an effective program with broad bipartisan support, providing millions of children across the country with high-quality, affordable health insurance.

As it now stands, all 50 states are expected to exhaust their federal allotments in 2018 and most have budgeted, on reliance in current law, for federal support. Uncertainty will force states to begin notifying families, altering provider contracts and taking other steps to terminate their programs in the event federal funding is not extended. Some states have already begun notifying residents that CHIP may be terminated.

In May, NGA sent a letter to leaders in Congress calling for a five-year extension of CHIP at current funding levels. Governors stand ready to work with Congress to ensure children’s coverage is protected for millions of families.”