Harrisburg, PA — Governor Tom Wolf today offered a statement on the need for Congress to address the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) before hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania children are left without health care. Congress failed to act on extending the popular program before the Sept. 30 deadline.
“We can’t forget our most vulnerable – our children who rely on us to care for them,” Gov. Wolf said. “Congress’s inaction can only be interpreted as apathy and there can be no tolerance for that. Even though the U.S. Senate Finance Committee leaders took a step in the right direction to recommend extending CHIP, Congress did not act, leaving children from low- and middle-income families at risk,” Gov. Wolf said.
In Pennsylvania, the Children’s Health Insurance Program provides insurance benefits to 176,000 children up to age 19.
“Those Pennsylvania children are among the 9 million from low- and middle-income families who could lose benefits if the federal funding isn’t reauthorized. In Pennsylvania, we can maintain CHIP benefits into February 2018, but the longer this drags on in Congress, the more this vital program is threatened. Congress needs to act now and do the right thing,” Gov. Wolf said. “Various failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act threatened CHIP, but even with those failures, CHIP is still at great risk.
“In addition, I also urge Congress to take action to stabilize our insurance markets by enacting commonsense reforms so that everyone has accessible and affordable health care benefits in Pennsylvania and across the United States. I urge Congress to act responsibly on this issue as well.”
On August 31, Governor Wolf and a group of bi-partisan governors released a plan to strengthen the health insurance markets in a letter to Congressional leadership.
SOURCE: PA Governor’s Press office