MultiCare urges Congress to reauthorize CHIP
MultiCare Health System and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital urge Congress to meet its commitment to children by including a long-term Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization in the continuing resolution expected before Dec. 22.
The nearly 60,000 children in Washington, and their families, need access to this health care program, which is the primary source of care for them. The bi-partisan legislation must be reauthorized by Congress now.
“Children at Mary Bridge and across our state need access to health insurance to make sure they get the care they need," said Dr. Stephen Reville, a pediatrician and Physician Executive of the Mary Bridge Network. “Congress has put families in a difficult position.”
CHIP was created in 1997 to provide health insurance coverage for low-income families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private plans. It is administered by the states but partially funded by federal money.
Federal funding for CHIP was not reauthorized by Congress and ended as of Sept. 30. The federal agency in charge of CHIP now is using reserve funding to pay our state monthly allotments to keep the program going, while Washington and the rest of the States wait for Congress to act.
Hospitals around the state, together with our staff, nurses, pediatrician, families and communities, must continue to provide for the nearly 60,000 children in Washington state
Under no circumstances should families be forced to wait until 2018 for action on this critical issue. Congress must reauthorize CHIP program before the recess in December.
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MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 20,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers. Learn more. More stories by this author