Brown calls for extension of CHIP funding

Published 7:16 am Thursday, November 30, 2017

Senator hopes to continue children’s insurance program

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, called Wednesday for Congress to immediately extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Brown said Ohio is set to run out of funding for the program, known as Healthy Start in Ohio, by the end of the year and that the state is making contingency plans for the anticpated loss.

Brown’s office said the senator has sponsored a bipartisan bill to support the program, which has passed the Senate Finance Committee, but the legislation has not been taken up by leadership for the full chamber.

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“Because folks in Congress with taxpayer-funded healthcare haven’t done their jobs, Ohio families and their kids will pay the price,” Brown said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “We need to put politics aside, roll up our sleeves, and extend CHIP for families across Ohio.”

Brown was joined on the call by Crystal Lett, who said her son Noble was born with a rare genetic disorder. She said the family’s insurance plan would cover only part of Noble’s treatment. She said, because of CHIP, Noble has access to the high-quality healthcare he deserves.

“CHIP allows working families to be able to provide standard of care treatments for their children that otherwise wouldn’t be affordable,” Lett said. “Kids are able to access the best medical care — insuring that they are able to be well and if they are ill, to get better. Because of better preventative care – available through CHIP, Noble has been able to avoid more costly, and more intrusive medical procedures,”

CHIP was created in 1997 as a joint state-federal health insurance program for low to moderate income children and pregnant women who are not Medicaid eligible. All 50 states take part in the program. Brown’s office said in Ohio, through Healthy Start, the program aids in covering more than 209,000 people.