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

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.

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