Easy Action- CHIP Renewal

While we have been so focused on what Congress is doing, or at least attempting to do, we missed a huge “what they didn’t do.”  On September 30 Congress let CHIP expire.  Now, perhaps you hear “expired chips” and think nothing of it, but this was actually a big deal.

What is CHIP?

CHIP stands for Children’s Health Insurance Program.  CHIP was a bipartisan effort passed by Sen. Orin Hatch and Sen. Kennedy in 1997.  It was enacted to insure children even when their family’s income is too high to be Medicaid eligible, but still have difficulty paying for healthcare.  It is jointly administered and funded by federal and state governments.  While states vary in specific benefits, every state covers basic services such as shots, prescriptions, and doctor visits.

What happened?

The bill was written to require renewal every couple of years.  Renewal has not been a problem before and Congress has gotten its act together in the past even after some tense negotiations.  However, this year the deadline to renew funding came and went.

Bills to renew CHIP’s funding have been introduced in both houses. The Senate bill, the KIDS Act, has bipartisan support and is ready to be voted on and passed. However, the House GOP’s proposed bill, known as the “HEALTHY KIDS” Act, would slash more than $5 billion from the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund in order to fund CHIP.

Why does this matter?

According to Medicaid.gov, 8.9 million children are enrolled in CHIP and are now in danger of losing access to healthcare as states begin to exhaust their Federal CHIP money.  This can happen as early as December… gee Happy Holidays from your loving Congress!

What can WE do?

First, call, text, fax, AND email your senators and representative EVERY DAY.  Regardless of blue or red, each congressperson needs to own this failure.  Ask them what they have done today to renew funding for CHIP.  There is a script below for both houses.

Second, SPREAD AWARENESS.  Remember how we stopped those awful healthcare bills…3 TIMES? We need to get LOUD about this.  Tell your friends and family to get loud.  Share this post. This is NOT a Democrat versus Republican issue.  These are CHILDREN and we are talking about their healthcare.

**SCRIPT** borrowed from 5 calls

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from ________.

[IF SENATE]: I’m calling to urge Senator_______ to support the KIDS Act, S. 1827, to reauthorize Children’s Health Insurance Program funding. Millions of children rely on this funding for insurance, and its reauthorization should not be held hostage to score partisan victories.

[IF HOUSE]: I’m calling to urge __________ to support bipartisan reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Millions of children rely on this funding for insurance, and its reauthorization should not be held hostage to score partisan victories like cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund in the proposed HEALTHY KIDS bill.

Thank you so much for your time.

[IF LEAVING A MESSAGE: Please leave your full address to ensure the call is tallied.]

This is an EASY naptime or “watching” soccer practice action.  As parents, we know how vital those checkups, shots, and medications are to children.  We know this inaction by Congress is endangering MILLIONS of children.  It is our responsibility to speak up.  We cannot call ourselves activists if we are not moved to action by this issue.  

Further Reading

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Federal CHIP Funding: When Will States Exhaust Allotments?

AAP advocates for immediate CHIP funding extension

10 thoughts on “Easy Action- CHIP Renewal”

  1. I don’t have any kids, but as just a human being who cares about other human beings, I find this outrageous. Even sadder has been the lack of coverage on this from basically anybody. This post and a few other articles (MAYBE 2 or 3?) have been the only information I’ve even seen about this massive failure/oversight. Thank you for speaking out and encouraging others to do the same. If we’re not taking care of our children, then who are we taking care of? This is something that can be and needs to be resolved right away.


    1. Yes, it is shocking how little attention there is about this in the media. If you would like to stay connected- I intend on trying to post weekly (??) calls to action about things we should be hearing about but aren’t…


  2. I do not see why Congress would let this slide . I have not seen anything about this in the media as Andi said . It is ridiculous that something so serious is not being highlighted . I hope you make progress with your efforts in raising awareness and having this bill passed


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