Millions of children depend on program for their health coverage

CHICAGO — As Congress leaves for the year, a critical program for the health of millions of children is not receiving a long-term reauthorization, even though there is a bipartisan consensus for a five-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The American Medical Association (AMA) released the following statement:

“For months, we have received direct assurance from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers that CHIP would be taken care of,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D.

“Governors are worried, notices are going out to families about potential interruptions in coverage, and the Department of Health and Human Services has been making emergency payments because states are running out of money. Given the broad support for CHIP in Congress, in the states, and across health care stakeholder groups, we are flummoxed about just what it takes for Washington to get the job done. Three full months after the program expired, the best Congress can come up with is another short-term extension for CHIP and other critical public health programs.

“A piecemeal contingency plan is no way to run a vital program for the nation’s children.”

Media Contact:

Jack Deutsch

ph: (202) 789-7442

[email protected]

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.