CHIP Letter

To: Senators Crapo and Risch and House member Simpson

from: the Idaho Falls Progressives

Date: December 19, 2017

The Idaho Falls Progressives respectfully requests that you make continuation funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) a priority. Approximately 35,000 low-income children in Idaho depend on this program to maintain access to healthcare. Estimates are that Idaho will run out of funds by the end of January if something is not done to continue supporting the provision of insurance for Idaho’s most vulnerable children. The legislature will be involved in efforts to continue funding governmental operations , and the CHIP program is expected to be a part of this bill.

The house passed H.R. 3922, Championing Healthy Kids Act and the Senate finance committee passed S. 1827, the Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act earlier this autumn. The version passed by the senate committee appears to better preserve the program’s funding for the next five years. It was developed jointly by Senator Hatch and Wyden and represents strong bipartisan cooperation. Our organization is concerned that the house legislation partially supports CHIP by diverting funds from the Prevention and Public Fund. This fund, administered by the Centers for Disease Control, seeks to reduce the leading causes of death and disability, support early detection of and response to health threats, and expand evidence-based strategies. Therefore, we request your support for the legislation arising out of the Senate’s Finance Committee. We Add our voice to a recent letter from a coalition of state governors requesting that the program be continued.

The Idaho Falls Progressives appreciates that you take our thoughts and concerns into account as you work for our state and its residents. In LESS THAN 20 years, CHIP has reduced the rates of children without insurance coverage from 13.9 percent in 1997 to 4.5 percent in 2015. This represents significant progress in improving the health of America’s kids. Continuing the program represents what is best about our country. Enhancing the health of our children helps build a better society for everyone.


The Idaho Falls Progressives