On May 11, 2017, the National Governors Association (NGA) released a letter to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce calling for Congressional action to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five more years. The letter is signed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, NGA Chair, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, NGA Vice-Chair for Health and Human Services. Key points in the NGA letter include:
- CHIP has achieved a major reduction in the uninsured rate among children (from 14.9 percent before CHIP’s enactment to 4.8 percent currently).
- Without Congressional action, federal support for CHIP will expire on September 30, 2017.
- Given current uncertainty about national health care reform and instability of private health insurance markets in many states, it is imperative that Congress act soon.
- Certainty about federal CHIP funding is essential so that states can budget and plan for their upcoming state fiscal years.
- Without such certainty, states will have no choice but to begin notifying families, altering contracts, and taking other steps to begin terminating state CHIP programs.