The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is coming up for reauthorization.  To maintain its current funding levels, the program must be reauthorized by September 30.

Many Medicaid-eligible students who receive related medical services in schools are enrolled in their state's CHIP program rather than the "traditional" Medicaid program.  The program was enacted in 1997 and has been reauthorized every two years and signed into law by both Democratic and Republican presidents.

One of the original sponsors was Republic Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah), still currently serving in the US Senate.  So far, even though there have been issues with reauthorization (one bill was vetoed by President George W. Bush before a second bill was signed), both houses of Congress and the sitting president have basically let the reauthorization sail through.  However, given the current super-charged atmosphere in Washington, especially around healthcare, the debate this year promises to be long and protracted.

Currently, 8.9 million children are covered by their states' CHIP program.  There will be a short time for Congressional debate before the September 30 deadline.  It's very important for everyone to contact their US Senators and Representatives to let them know how important this program is to the continued health of our children.

 

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