Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3922, the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, with a bipartisan vote of 242-174. This bill provides funding extensions of vital, popular public health programs, including:
- A five-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- A two-year extension of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or Community Health Centers
- A two-year extension for additional public health programs, including: The National Health Service Corps, Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education, Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, the Youth Empowerment Program, and the Personal Responsibility Education Program.
Funding for these important programs expired on September 30th, yet the Senate has yet to finish its work to fund these critically important programs. While some states still have rollover CHIP funds available and the next wave of community health center funds won’t go out until next year, prompt action is needed from the Senate. Without such action, states will be forced to notify CHIP enrollees they may lose their coverage, and health care providers caring for low-income patients will be forced to make fiscally challenging and painful decisions.
The Senate must act soon to complete its efforts to fund these key programs that provide health coverage and services to millions of Americans. Patients cannot wait much longer.
The CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act by the Numbers:
In FY2016, 9.2 million children and pregnant women were covered by CHIP.
In 2016, nearly 26 million people – 1 in 12 nationwide – were served by FQHC sites.
In 2016, there were more than 10,400 community health center delivery sites.
When the House considered H.R. 3922, 242 representatives supported the bill (including 15 Democrats).