The March of Dimes released the following statement from President Stacey Stewart regarding the upcoming vote in the House of Representatives on the manager’s amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 3922, the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act:
“The March of Dimes is saddened and disappointed that the House leadership is bringing up the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act for what is likely to be the first partisan vote in the two-decade history of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). While the five-year extension of CHIP funding contained in the bill is most welcome, it is deeply disheartening that the two sides were unable to reach bipartisan agreement on how to fund the programs in this legislation.
“The 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women who receive quality, affordable coverage under CHIP deserve better from our lawmakers. It is simply unacceptable that Congress allowed CHIP funding to lapse in September, creating tremendous instability and unpredictability for both families and states. This program, which is widely acknowledged to be highly popular, efficient, and effective, merits strong support and timely renewal from both sides of the aisle.
“The March of Dimes is especially dismayed that this vote comes at the outset of Prematurity Awareness Month. The nation’s rate of preterm birth—the largest contributor to infant death in the United States -- increased again in 2016, after nearly a decade of decline, earning the nation a “C” grade on the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. Surely we should be doing more, not less, to increase Americans’ access to quality health care to promote maternal and child health.
“Pregnant women and children should not have to depend on the political winds in Congress for their health care. The March of Dimes urges both the House and Senate to pass a bipartisan extension of CHIP funding as quickly as possible.”