January 9, 2018

Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, January 10, for a CHIP Day of Action and tell Congress to fund CHIP long-term immediately.

Yesterday marked 100 days since Congress has failed to extend long-term funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, January 10, for a CHIP Day of Action and tell Congress to fund CHIP long-term immediately.

Congressional inaction has created a dire situation for children, families and state legislatures.

Congress passed short-term funding for the program in December, but it falls far short from providing the stability that families and states need. Inadequate, patchwork funding is not the answer.

States have started to notify families that they may not have a source of coverage should Congress fail to enact a long-term extension of CHIP funding, and several states have started to use funds meant to operate the program to start shutting it down.

Congress must pass a spending bill to avert a federal government shutdown by January 19. As part of that vote, we are urging lawmakers to take immediate action and extend CHIP funding for five years.

How to Join Tomorrow’s Day of Action:

  1. Call your members of Congress. We’ve included the DC Office phone numbers for your members of Congress below as well as talking points to help guide your call. You can also email your legislators here.
  2. Share messages on social media using #SaveCHIP. The AAP’s newly-updated CHIP Advocacy Toolkit has sample messages.
  3. Encourage others to join you. The AAP is joining with several other children’s health and advocacy groups for tomorrow’s Day of Action. The more voices joining together at the same time with the same message, the most likely Congress will be compelled to act.

As a reminder, the AAP’s CHIP Advocacy Toolkit includes all of this information and more, such as CHIP state fact sheets, information on state of play and social media graphics. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to speaking up for children and families who rely on CHIP!

Rep. Don Young (R) (202) 225-5765  Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) (202) 224-6665  Sen. Daniel Sullivan (R) (202) 224-3004

Talking points

  • Hello. I am pediatrician from {your state} and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I am calling today to urge {U.S. Senator’s name/U.S. Representative’s name} to pass legislation immediately that would extend current funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years and maintain the bipartisan history of the program.
  • CHIP funding expired over 100 days ago. Now, families are facing uncertainty and entering the new year without knowing if their children will have health care coverage.
  • The short-term solutions Congress has offered so far do not give families the relief they needso that their children can access care, and also fail to address states’ funding concerns. States and families need stability.
  • Because CHIP funding has not been extended, states have been forced to make difficult choices as they question the future of their CHIP programs. Actions include sending notices to families that they may not be able to rely on CHIP for more than another month or two. Already several states are using funds meant to operate the program to begin the process of shutting it down.
  • It doesn’t have to be this way. CHIP is a bipartisan success story. The program was created in 1997 and has been championed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle since its creation.
  • Nearly 9 million children across the country are enrolled in the program. CHIP stands on the shoulders of Medicaid to cover children in working families who are not eligible for Medicaid and lack access to affordable private coverage.
  • The program is designed around what children need. It offers benefits that are age-appropriate, including dental coverage and mental health and substance abuse services, which may not be covered by a family’s employer-sponsored insurance.
  • CHIP plans include networks of pediatricians, pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists, and children’s hospitals, which are especially critical for children with special health care needs.
  • Please extend current CHIP funding for five years immediately. Inadequate, patchwork funding is not the answer. As families begin a new year, they must be reassured that their children will not go a single day without health care coverage.
  • Thank you for all you do for children!