Statement of Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, on Senate Passage of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015

Washington, District of Columbia | Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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The March of Dimes released today the following statement from President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse regarding Senate passage of H.R. 2, legislation that will extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beyond September 2015.

“The March of Dimes commends the members of the United States Senate for their passage today of this legislation to extend funding for the Child Health Insurance Program. 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. 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. In recent letters to Congress, over 40 governors praised CHIP for its flexibility and urged the speedy passage of legislation to extend its funding.

”CHIP must be preserved to ensure vital coverage options for children and pregnant women. The March of Dimes applauds the Senate for passing this important legislation and commends President Barack Obama for his intention to swiftly sign this bill into law.”

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.