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Statement of Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President, March of Dimes on the Fifth Anniversary of CHIPRA

Washington District of Columbia — Tuesday, February 04, 2014

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The March of Dimes released today the following statement from President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse regarding the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Child Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA):

“Five years ago, our nation kept its promise of better health for children and pregnant women by extending and improving the Child Health Insurance Program. Since that time, the uninsurance rate for children has continued to drop, even as the rate has increased for adults. The number of children eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but uninsured fell from 4.9 million in 2008 to 4.0 million in 2011. Since CHIP’s enactment in 1997, the child uninsurance rate has dropped from 13.9% to 6.6%. Today, nearly 8 million children have access to health care through CHIP.

“Pregnant women have also benefitted from CHIP coverage. Eighteen states currently offer CHIP coverage to pregnant women so they can obtain vital prenatal, maternity, and postpartum care.  In 2010 alone, over 360,000 women received quality, affordable health care through state CHIP programs to ensure that their pregnancy and child was as healthy as possible.

“States’ CHIP programs have repeatedly proven popular and appreciated by both families and policymakers. In polls, families regularly report that they can obtain quality, affordable care through the program. Governors and state legislators praise CHIP for its flexibility, which allows them to tailor the program to their states’ needs.

”CHIP is a national success story. We should celebrate its success and preserve this vital insurance option for families. The March of Dimes urges Congress to renew the expiring portions of CHIPRA as soon as possible to ensure that no child or pregnant woman loses or is denied the care they need to grow healthy and strong.”

About March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose volunteers and staff work to improve the health of infants and children by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education and advocacy.

For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites and To participate in our annual signature fundraising event, visit If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.