Unless Congress acts now, California could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). About 1.3 million kids in California rely on CHIP for everything from prescriptions to emergency services—and without federal funds, their health is at risk.
Congress let funding for CHIP expire in September, and since then, legislators haven’t made a serious effort to restore funding for the program. That’s a problem, because California estimates that its CHIP funding will run out by January.
It’s important to know that California is legally obligated to pay for CHIP when federal funding runs out, and state lawmakers have no idea where they will get that money on short notice. To put it more bluntly: There is no backup plan.
End Child Poverty in California is petitioning Congress to keep financing CHIP, and we need your signature. Over the course of 20 years, the program has decreased the rate of uninsured children in California from 13.9 percent to 4.5 percent. We can’t let that number rise again.
CHIP makes health care affordable for millions of California families:
- Decreases out-of-pocket expenses and total medical spending for low-income kids
- Provides a safety net during economic downturns
- Reduces child mortality rate, according to some research
The program also helps children grow into thriving, financially secure adults:
- Children covered by CHIP can obtain a better education than uninsured children
- In New York, CHIP has radically reduced racial disparities in access to health care
- Children covered by CHIP may be less dependent on government support as adults
Without federal money for CHIP, our state could reverse the progress we’ve made for low- and middle-income children—and that’s unacceptable. Please add your signature to our petition and remind Congress that California kids deserve good health.