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Statement of Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President, March of Dimes on the Introduction of CHIP Reauthorization Legislation

Washington, District of Columbia — Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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The March of Dimes released today the following statement from President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse regarding Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D-WV) introduction of legislation to extend funding for the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beyond September 2015:

“The March of Dimes commends Senator Jay Rockefeller for his introduction today of legislation to extend funding for the Child Health Insurance Program through 2019. CHIP is a national success story – a program that has not only met but exceeded its ambitious goals of providing affordable and comprehensive health coverage for children and pregnant women.

“Over the past several years, 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 gained 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 were 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 must be preserved to ensure vital coverage options for children and pregnant women. The March of Dimes applauds Senator Rockefeller’s efforts to begin the dialogue, and we urge Congress to extend CHIP funding this year.”

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.