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Congressman Randy Hultgren

Representing the 14th District of ILLINOIS

Hultgren Calls on Congress to Approve Funding for Children’s Health Insurance Program

Sep 15, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan this week in support of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the federal funding for which expires on September 30. A lapse in funding would mean a lapse in health coverage for nine million children nationally, and 250,000 children in Illinois.

“CHIP is good for our kids and financially responsible for the federal government,” the letter reads. “Not only are out-of-pocket costs for parents and children enrolled in CHIP less than the cost of coverage through plans sold in the individual market, Illinois children in the program are offered more comprehensive benefits, including dental, vision and habilitative services for patients with complex medical conditions and special needs.”

Congressman Hultgren expressed his interest in working with House leadership to put forward structural reforms to Medicaid and the CHIP program to reduce costs and expand access to more Illinois health care providers, and he urged Speaker Ryan to reauthorize CHIP as a necessary first step.

The text of the letter follows:

Dear Speaker Ryan,

As the House of Representatives seeks consensus on the federal budget in the coming months, I ask that you move quickly to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expires on September 30. Leaving CHIP unaddressed in the latest continuing budget resolution means that approximately nine million American children could be without health coverage on October 1.

CHIP is good for our kids and financially responsible for the federal government. Not only are out-of-pocket costs for parents and children enrolled in CHIP less than the cost of coverage through plans sold in the individual market, Illinois children in the program are offered more comprehensive benefits, including dental, vision and habilitative services for patients with complex medical conditions and special needs.

CHIP has historically been a bipartisan program. Due in part to its broad support and effective structure, the rate of insured children in the United States is 95 percent. In Illinois alone 250,000 kids rely on CHIP for their health insurance coverage. Without reauthorization of federal funding, state budget constraints will make insuring these children all but impossible. We should not weigh the health and coverage needs of Americans differently based on their zip code, especially when it comes to vulnerable children with few alternatives.

I look forward to working with you on structural reforms to Medicaid and CHIP that will offer patients in need broader health coverage and better health care. I strongly believe the first step in this process must be reauthorization of the CHIP program.

I appreciate your timely attention to this concern and look forward to your response.

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