Press Release

Contact: Bruce Lesley
Phone: (202) 657-0670

Kids Deserve More than Inadequate CHIP Stop-Gap


WASHINGTON–With respect to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Announcement that the House will consider a Continuing Resolution with a short-term, stop-gap measure for states that will exhaust CHIP funding by the end of 2017, the following statement was issued by Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children:

“Congress is more than two months overdue in fulfilling a self-imposed September 30th deadline on extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for 8.9 million low income kids. Consequently, every state is rapidly running out of funding.

Children deserve more from Congress than short-term, piecemeal measures for individual states. For families with children in treatment for cancer, heart disease, Spina Bifida, cystic fibrosis, Rett Syndrome, asthma, or an array of other conditions this funding delay is frightening and unnecessary. Children need Congress to do their job and fully fund CHIP for five years for all states to minimize damage already done by this inexplicable delay.

There is no excuse for further delays on extending this critical and wildly successful program for children, and to do so is harmful. Children and their families are counting on Congress to extend CHIP funding now — without any further delay or excuses.

If Congress does choose to enact a short-term extension, it should be for the purpose of using the time to eliminate the arbitrary funding cliff in the law or to create a permanent CHIP Trust Fund paid for by the offsets or past tobacco taxes that should have been dedicated to CHIP, so that such a crisis never happens again.”