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For Immediate Release: December 7, 2017

Contact: Rob Thompson, NC Child, 919-649-2449

NC Nonprofits Call on Burr and Tillis to Extend CHIP Funding Immediately

RALEIGH, NC—30 child- and health-focused nonprofits called on Senators Burr and Tillis to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) without further delay in a letter sent to both senators this morning.

Federal funding for CHIP expired on September 30. Though all states have been able to maintain CHIP coverage since funding expired, devastating impacts on coverage are imminent without immediate action. If Congress fails to act by January, Secretary Mandy Cohen of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has indicated that North Carolina will implement its own contingency plan, which could include an enrollment freeze.

The full text of the letter and list of signers is listed below.

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December 7, 2017

The Honorable Senator Richard Burr
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Senator Thom Tillis
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Burr and Senator Tillis:

On behalf of the more than 250,000 North Carolina children who rely on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the undersigned child-serving agencies and advocacy organizations urge you to reauthorize CHIP immediately to ensure no eligible child loses or is denied health insurance. While we appreciate your stated support for extending CHIP funding, pushing your colleagues to take action now is of the utmost importance.

Over the past twenty years, North Carolina has reduced the number of uninsured children from nearly 20 percent to just 4 percent; CHIP has been a major contributor to this tremendous success story. Children who receive their health insurance through CHIP typically have working parents who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford private health insurance and do not qualify for employer-based insurance. In today’s health insurance marketplace, CHIP is the only viable insurance option for these children.

Though all states have been able to maintain CHIP coverage since federal funding expired on September 30, 2017, devastating impacts on coverage are imminent without immediate action. Two states have begun to inform parents that coverage for children will end if Congress doesn’t act soon, and more will take action in the coming days if Congress fails to include CHIP in the short-term continuing budget resolution likely to pass by December 8th. Secretary Mandy Cohen of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has indicated that North Carolina will implement its own contingency plan in January if Congress fails to act before then.

We are thrilled to see strong bicameral and bipartisan policy agreement on a five-year CHIP extension that would gradually reduce the enhanced match rate. The sticking point is an ongoing disagreement on how to pay for the extension, which has a net cost of $8.2 billion, as well as where the extension falls in the long list of Congressional priorities before year’s end. We urge you to work with your colleagues to prioritize CHIP with bipartisan offsets as these funds will save children’s lives and represent only .5 percent of the $1.5 trillion tax cut recently approved by the Senate. 

The time to act is now. Please urge your colleagues to include CHIP funding extension in the December 8th continuing resolution to ensure that no children in North Carolina are denied access to life-saving health insurance.

Sincerely,

Advocates for Medically Fragile Kids NC
Alexander Youth Network
Children’s Homes of Iredell County. Inc.
Council for Children’s Rights
Disability Rights NC
Family Services Inc
H.O.P.E. Of Winston-Salem, Inc
Health Care Justice NC
Independent Living Resources, Inc.& SaySo, Inc.
March of Dimes North Carolina
MomsRising
NAMI North Carolina
NC Child
NC Justice Center
NC Oral Health Collaborative (a program of The Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation)
NC Pediatric Society
NC Public Health Association
North Carolina Alliance for Health
North Carolina Infant/Young Child Mental Health Association
North Carolina Psychological Association
Pender County Head Start
Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina
Psychiatric & Psychological Associates of Durham
Safe Alliance
Social Political Action/Connectional Lay Council – AME Zion Church
Staurolite Resource Group
StrongerNC
The Children’s Alliance
Watershed Charlotte
Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!)

 

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