Over the past 20 years the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has helped reduce the percentage of children without health insurance to an all-time low of just above 4 percent. It should have been a relief when legislation to fund CHIP resoundingly passed the House. Instead, its funding became a political pawn in the Senate, where it only gained a six-year reprieve.
A similar fate awaits Community Health Centers (CHCs), which remain unfunded by the Senate. CHCs are the main venue of care for many CHIP recipients and can literally be life-savers for low-income adults and children.
Why is it that our government can spend billions on tax relief for the rich and build a wall but not fund health care for children?
The simultaneous hostage-taking of CHC and CHIP funding was no accident. Supporting one without the other is useless. Where else would low-income children go for medical care even though CHIP funding has been extended?
Everyone has a right to equal access to health care. There is no good time to compromise our future by denying long-term support to either of these programs. Let’s get them funded once and for all and quit playing roulette with our children’s well being.