Nationwide Children’s Hospital applauds Congress for passing legislation to protect children’s health care by extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2), received overwhelming bipartisan support in both the Senate and House and will extend CHIP funding for 2 years. The bill passed the Senate Tuesday evening, passed the House in late March, and will be signed into law by the President.
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital thanks our members of Congress for protecting this proven source of health care coverage designed to meet the needs of children,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “This bill ensures Ohio has the budgetary certainty to continue to provide children eligible under CHIP with access to affordable, pediatric appropriate health care coverage.”
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital deeply appreciates the bipartisan votes on behalf of CHIP from our service area legislators, Senators Brown and Portman, and Representatives Beatty, Johnson, Latta, Stivers, and Tiberi. We thank Speaker Boehner for placing a priority on children’s health care and his work with Minority Leader Pelosi to bring Congress together to get this important work done,” Allen said.
The bill will extend CHIP’s current-law funding levels and policies that have made the program a bipartisan success story for nearly two decades. Over the course of a year, more than 260,000 Ohio children, or approximately one in five of those on Ohio Medicaid, will rely on CHIP. Together with Medicaid, CHIP, has helped to cut the rate of uninsured children in Ohio to a historic low of 5%. In addition, half of all Ohio births are covered by CHIP and Medicaid.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act extends funding through September 2017 maintaining coverage for an estimated 10 million children across the country. The CHIP program is currently authorized through September 2019.